Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dept- Link
Several Backcountry Injuries Put Rescue Services to the Test
Santa Barbara - June 19th, 2011
Emergency personnel from the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service, Santa Barbara County Fire and AMR Ambulance combined late Saturday afternoon, June 18, 2011, to respond to three different incidents, each requiring the rescue of individuals. Two being related to injuries suffered when each of their horses fell off the trail down steep canyon sides and the third related to a mountain biker falling over a bridge a dozen feet down into a creek bed.
Early in the afternoon a group of Forest Service employees along with a couple of horse wranglers rode out from Rancho Oso and up to 19 Oaks Campground located on the Santa Cruz trail approximately 2 miles north of Upper Oso Campground in the Paradise Canyon area. As they were coming back down the trail one of the female Forest Service employees along with her horse went off the side and fell into a steep deep canyon. Complaining of injuries some of her companions rode down the trail until they could obtain cell coverage at Upper Oso to dial 9-1-1.
Dispatchers with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center then initiated a multi-agency response. An engine crew from the U.S. Forest Service along with a County helicopter eventually was able to locate the subject. After initial emergency treatment the ground personnel were able to carry the injured horse rider in a stretcher up to a clearing where the helicopter then transported subject to Santa Barbara Airport where she was transferred to an AMR ambulance for transport to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room where she was reported in stable condition later that night.
As personnel from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s all volunteer Search and Rescue team were responding across the first crossing of the Santa Ynez River they received a report from a hiker that a mountain biker had fallen off a nearby bridge and was injured. Upon arrival, Search and Rescue members found a male in his late thirties lying down in the bottom of a creek bed bleeding from a cut knee and a lacerated head wound. Apparently the rider was trying to negotiate his bike around the lock gate at one end of the bridge when he lost his balance and tumbled over the side down about 12 feet, hitting his head on a rock. SAR EMTS administered first aid to the subject and then directed an AMR ambulance crew standing by for the horse rescue, to respond to evaluate the subject for transport. Paramedics from AMR evaluated the subject but he refused further treatment and was released.
About this time a second horse rider was reported to the rescue crews still stationed up at Upper Oso. Two of the horse riders with the original U.S. Forest Serviced ride had started down the trail back to Upper Oso when the horse in the front started to turn around on the trail, causing his rear legs to slide off the side of the single track trail and down a sheer 30 foot cliff down to the rock creek bed below. Upon hitting the creek bed the male rider in his late fifties was flung off the horse and hit his head and back on large rocks before coming to a rest. Personnel from Search and Rescue, County Fire and Forest Service once again hiked up the trail and found the injured subject in the creek bed with his horse also lying near him. The subject was immobilized for possible back injuries and lashed into a stretcher whereupon members of all three agencies then worked together to lift him out of the creek bed and back up to the trail where he was wheeled out to Upper Oso for transport by an AMR ambulance crew to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room where he was also reported in serious but stable condition.
During this time the subject’s horse got itself up into a standing position but was demonstrating signs of being in shock from her fall and injuries. Two members of County Search and Rescue stayed with the horse while her owner was carried out. Several SAR members then returned to assist after transferring the injured rider to AMR. After calming the horse down SAR members were able to scout out a route and safely encourage the horse back up to the trail where she then was slowly walked out to Upper Oso and turned over to personnel from the Equine Evacuation Rescue Group. While left shaken and with a lot of cuts and bruises, the horse appeared not to suffer any life threatening injuries.
All rescue personnel departed Upper Oso at approximately 7 pm after completing a string of rescues in quick succession.
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