Minutes mattered in hiker’s rescue near Carbondale
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” A hiker suffering an apparent heart attack was swept from high atop Mushroom Rock, airlifted to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and was in the hospital’s cardiolo-gy lab in little more than a half hour’s time Wednesday evening, according to Carbondale rescue officials.
The quick rescue likely played a big part in saving the life of the 55-year-old valley resident. It also marked a huge step forward for local rescue workers, Carbondale Fire District Deputy Chief Carl Smith said.
“From the time we got to him up on Mushroom Rock and the decision to call the helicopter until the patient was in the cardiovascular lab was just 32 minutes,” he said. “This was a pretty big jump forward for us, and is what we need for increased survivability in cardiac cases.”
The name of the man who was res-cued still had not been released Thursday. His condition was also not available.
Smith said the department got the initial call from a fellow hiker who was with the man shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday. The accompanying hiker, who also was not identified, remained with the victim until rescue workers arrived and stayed until he was on his way to the hospital, Smith said.
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“The whole operation was one of those things that went quite well. We were very happy with it,” Smith said.
Rescue workers called for St. Mary’s Hospital CareFlight and were able to transport the man down a steep trail to a nearby sage meadow.
Windy conditions and the tight area in which the helicopter had to land were difficult, Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach and the initial incident commander, Jake Spaulding, said Wednesday night after the rescue “The work that these guys did today saved his life,” Leach said. “They went into a back country situation … and made the right decisions.”