During a training exercise I decided to record the lowering process from the victims perspective.
AMRT participated in a jooint training exercise with LA County Fire, National Forest Service Fire and Montrose Search and Rescue May 22-24, 2012. The exercise took place up Angeles Crest Highway, and included a number of rescue scenario simulations, including helicopter rescues. For some pictures from that day, visit the gallery
Images from Sunday's training where the team worked on raising and lowering victims have been posted to the gallery.
AMRT was asked to speak to the kids from the Altadena VIDA (Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives) program.
We talked to them about hiking safety, self reliance, and what to pack on a hike. A group of 13 youths along with Deputies from the VIDA program were led
on a hike to the Eaton Canyon waterfall. We pointed out poison oak, and stressed the importance of staying on the trail. We answered a multitude of questions from the kids,
as the majority of them were first time hikers.
(Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) is a structured 16-week program for non-violent, at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 17½.
Through collaboration between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, community-based organizations, volunteers, schools and families, the program
teaches youth the value of effective decision-making and taking responsibility for their futures.)
THERE IS NO TRAIL TO THE SECOND WATERFALL! Please do not believe misinformation about visiting the 2nd Waterfall at Eaton Canyon. There is NOT a trail. Death and injury occur every year as people try to hike to it. You risk your life and the life of rescue workers that must come to your aid. The shale geology of the area can easily and readily give way. If you or a friend think about trying to make it to the second waterfall, please stop and think about what will happen if you DON'T make it.
The page came out at 1420 with reports of a 78 year old male who fell off the Lower Sam trail. We were able to make cell phone contact with the victim and determine he was uninjured and in a safe location. He had water and a GPS and was able to relay his coordinates and altitude. He was informed we had a crew responding and to hold in that location as it would take a little while before we got to him.
After ascending the Lower Sam Trail, the team made voice and then visual contact with the victim. He was about 1 mile up the trail, and had fallen approximately 40 feet down the slope.
After establishing a good anchor point, a team member made his way down to the victim and did a quick assessment, after which he was placed in a harness and helmet. Once the victim was safe on the trail, another assessment was performed. Once it was determined he was uninjured, we slowly walked him down the trail.
After arrival at the trailhead with the victim, we performed a head to toe assessment including mental status. The victim did well and besides some abrasions and minor lacerations was in good condition.
This victim was better prepared than most, having in his possession a cell phone, GPS and a supply of water. Many victims have nothing more in their possession than the clothes on their back. Regardless of the length of your outing, always head out prepared. As an added safety step, take a few minutes to fill out the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue – Hiking Plan.
A compilation video from the training on Sunday April 15 has been added to the teams YouTube channel. Watch below or Click here to see other team videos.
The team completed a successful day of skills traiing, covering rappelling, ascending and raising systems at Devils Gate.
30 new images have been added to the gallery, click here to view them.
An evening of knots and rappelling training took place April 5th at Devils Gate. Check out the gallery for some images from the session.
A call came out for stranded hikers in Eaton Canyon at approximately 5:30p.m. on Tuesday February 21.
By the time the first unit was dispatched we were able to make contact with one of the individuals on their mobile phone.
After verifying whether there were injuries and if they were safe, we were able to determine their approximate location.
Images featuring the newspaper coverage in The Pasadena Independent and The Mirror from August, 1951 covering the rescue of a 17 year old boy have been added to the Archival Images section of the Gallery.
"Sheriff's deputies and volunteer searchers brought Walter Weirich out of the rugged foothills of Bailey Canyon early last night."
"The youth, 17, was alive but suffering from severe exposure and shock. He was lost Sunday on a hiking trip. "
Saturday, January 28, 2012
At 0814 hrs AMRT was called out for a 19 year old female cliffhanger reported high above the Cobb Estate in Las Flores canyon. The call came in from a friend of the stuck person who stated she had started from Chaney trail and headed east.
A second informant called in and stated he could see her east of where he was and gave us GPS coordinates for his location.
As team members made their way up the Mt. Lowe road to access the stuck girl from above, they observed a Fire Dept. helicopter moving in to hoist the girl up and fly her to a landing zone at Farnsworth Park.
A second AMRT unit met the helicopter at Farnsworth Park, and brought the girl who was uninjured back to the Altadena Sheriff's Station.
Upon returning to the AMRT Headquarters the girl was interviewed as to how she came to be stuck in such a dangerous location, far from any maintained trail.
She stated that friday night she decided that she wanted to go on a hike. She set her destination to be the summit of Echo Mountain and looked it up on Google maps.
She began hiking shortly afterward by herself (Saturday morning at approximately 0240 hrs. AM!) She left Pasadena near Caltech where she is a student, walked all the way up Lake Ave, approximately 5 miles, across Loma Alta drive, and up Chaney Trail, approximately 3 miles.
When asked what provisions she had taken along with her, she stated, a cell phone, her credit card and some cash (for a cab in case she was mugged.)
She brought no food, water, warm clothes, or flashlight.
She had not told anyone of her plans.
After hiking up the Mt. Lowe road for approximately 2 miles she decided to go off trail to find a different route to echo mountain.
Shortly thereafter she took a fall of approximately 10 feet and was only stopped when she hit a bush just before a major drop off.
This is when she called her friend and stated her predicament, requesting that rescue teams be called.
Later it was learned that she was stopped by a Sheriff deputy as she was approaching the mountain and was warned not to proceed.
When asked how well she felt her plan and preparations (or lack thereof) and ignoring a warning from law enforcement had worked out for her she stated, "It was fine."
Lessons to be learned:
Proper preparation is needed prior to setting out on a hike, including knowledge of which specific trails you are to be taking.
It is ALWAYS safest to remain only on established trails.
You should ALWAYS have food, water, a flashlight and proper clothing and footwear.
You should ALWAYS tell someone where you are going, the route you are taking, and when you plan to return.
You should ALWAYS stick to that plan.
It is best never to hike alone.
You can fill out a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue Hiking Plan Sheet and provide it to someone just in case something happens and we need to come to your aid.
LASD Air-5 Helicopter Cliff Rescue of 19-yr old So. Pasadena Woman above Altadena. 2 more teens rescued on the ground.
A U.S. Forestry Recreation Technician working in the Angeles National Forest noticed several people who appeared to be trapped on a cliff near Altadena and called in rescuers at 11:57AM on Sunday.
By 12:25PM, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Air-5 Rescue pilots & Emergency Services Detail (Special Enforcement Bureau), had rescued a 19-year old South Pasadena woman who had gone on a day hike with friends and became trapped on a cliff with a 100 foot drop to a canyon below.
On Sunday November 13th, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team completed a successful day of high-line training. To view pictures from that day, click here.