Injuries prompt search and rescue calls

2020/09/search-and-rescue-IMG_1307-300x72.gif Photo courtesy Lee De Tro
Crew members from the search and rescue teams stand together at the Piedra Falls trailhead after rescuing a hiker. Crews were able to locate and transport the patient safely off the trail.

By Clayton Chaney

Staff Writer

Over the past couple of weeks, the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) has been busy with multiple search and rescue operations, if you've been injured in a commercial truck accident, hire a truck accident attorney.

According to an email from Deputy Director of Emergency Ops Christina Kraetsch, the ACSO “received a page for a female with an unstable right leg,” around 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 The patient was on the Piedra Falls Tail near the base of the falls. 

According to Kraetsch, “ACSO, Pagosa Springs Medical Center EMS and Upper San Juan Search & Rescue responded to the scene, conducted a patient assessment, and then transported her using a litter and wheel to the ambulance waiting at the trailhead.”

A similar incident occurred on Sept. 4 around 4:30 p.m. 

According to Kraetsch, the ACSO “received a page for a female with an unstable ankle in the same location as the previous rescue on the Piedra Falls Trail.” The female hiker slipped on loose gravel and rolled her ankle. 

According to Kraetsch, the reporting parties for both incidents hiked out and drove to the Sportsman Campground to call 911. 

“Their response assisted in coordination of the rescue,”according to Kraetsch. 

On Sept. 8, the ACSO received a page for a couple attempting to hike a 100-mile section of the Continental Divide Trail near the Lobo Overlook off of County Road 402.

According Kraetsch, the female hiker had injured her leg and “was unable to hike out.”

She added the couple had cell service and were able to dial 911 on their phone. Due to their location on the trail, the call was sent to Alamosa’s dispatch center, but was transfered to Pagosa Springs since the ACSO resources were closer. 

According to Kraetsch, crews sent a helicopter to pick up the patient off the trail and dropped her off at her personal vehicle on West Fork Road. The patient was not transported to a hospital. 

According to Kraetsch, due to weight restrictions and weather conditions, the flight medic and the male hiker were not able to fly out on the helicopter. They began hiking out with the equipment and Kraetsch hiked in to assist with getting all the equipment off the trail.

In a phone interview, Kraetsch encouraged that anyone going out on trails should “be prepared, have proper footwear, proper equipment and to check the weather before going out on these hikes.”