Sedona Fire District (SFD) personnel were dispatched to a mountain rescue on Tuesday in the Bell Rock area of the Coconino National Forest near the Village of Oak Creek at 5:11pm. While initial reports indicated the female subject was near the parking lot, it was later determined through a Japanese interpreter that the subject was actually near the top of Bell Rock and sustained several critical injuries.
With the help of a family member that hiked off the mountain, SFD personnel from the Village of Oak Creek Station #3 were able to locate, access the patient, and begin treatment of the critical injuries. Due to the severity of injuries, decreasing daylight, and the difficult access by ground, a short-haul rescue using a helicopter was determined to be the quickest and most appropriate method of moving the patient from the steep area of Bell Rock.
Department of Public Service (DPS) Ranger out of Flagstaff responded to the scene and, with SFD Firefighter Kyle West on rope, performed the short-haul rescue. The victim was flown off the mountain and transferred to a waiting medical helicopter where the patient was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of her critical injuries. All remaining rescue personnel hiked off the mountain and the mission was completed by 8:00 pm.
A short-haul rescue requires a helicopter to maintain a hover over or near the incident while a rescuer and patient are secured under the helicopter to a 150’ rope. SFD personnel train with the Department of Public Service Ranger helicopter officers on the regular basis throughout the year and currently have 5 qualified Helicopter Rescue Technicians on staff that can perform these difficult and complex rescues.
About the Sedona Fire District:
Mission Statement: We help people through Safe, Friendly, and Dedicated service.
Vision Statement: SFD will be a community leader in emergency services to make our District one of the safest places in the world to live, work, and explore.
Values Statement: We value the faith and trust of the community and each of our members will support the mission by adhering to the following values:
- Safe, Friendly, and Dedicated Service
- Cost-saving initiatives and multi-tasking for organizational improvement and sustainability
- Compassion, fostering a genuine concern for those we serve
- The ability to anticipate, influence, and adapt to change
- Personal accountability and professionalism, adhering to a strong code of moral and ethical conduct
- Teamwork, working together for a common goal
- The desire to serve, the courage to act, the ability to perform