The team arrived at the Cobb Estate and was briefed on the situation by The Fire Department who was already on scene. We were informed that the victim was located near the 2 mile mark on the Lower Sam Merrill trail and was suffering from heat exhaustion.
A unit was sent to the Echo Mountain trail to come across and down the Lower Sam Merrill trail to the victim. With the victim located near the top of Lower Sam Merrill trail, this route proved to be the fasted option to reach the victim.
As we descended towards the victim, we were informed that it might be a dog, not a human, suffering from heat exhaustion.
Once at Echo Mountain, we made contact with a medic from the Fire Department helicopter. He had cleared the ruins atop Echo Mountain. At that time we proceeded down the trail towards the victim. We located the reporting party who informed us she had called for her dog, not herself. The dog was hot, dehydrated and could not stand.
The helicopter medic advised us that they would airlift the dog and owner. While the litter was prepared, members of the team provided the dog with water in an attempt to cool it down.
Once prepped, the dog, owner and medic were airlifted and transported to Farnsworth Park.
We then transported the dog and owner back to Cobb Estate and requested she take the dog to the vet.
Items to note when hiking with dogs:
- Dogs get dehydrated, some species quicker than others. Carry plenty of water and a collapsible bowl with you at all times.
- Allow time for frequent rest and water breaks, preferably in the shade.
- Dogs cannot communicate physical distress until the situation is serious. Observe you dog and be aware of signs of overheating or exhaustion.
- Don't hike during the hottest part of the day; instead begin your hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- If possible, choose a trail that follows a stream that will allow access to the water.