On Wednesday, June 7, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a bicyclist injured in an accident at Moran State Park. They responded to find a 14-year-old female who had been riding trails with her class when she attempted to pass someone stopped on the narrow trail. Her back tire slipped off the trail and she tumbled approximately 20 feet, coming to land against a tree. The tree was preventing her from falling another 30 feet onto the concrete pavement below, along with assistance from a civilian on the scene.
The Technical Rescue Team was dispatched to assist with the rescue of the patient. The complicated rescue involved establishing two anchored ropes for rescuers to access the patient. Three rescuers descended over the edge. Two rescuers attended to the patient while the other assisted the civilian on the scene to secure a harness and descend the additional 30 feet to the road below. A second system had to be built in order to secure the stokes basket. Once secure, the Stokes basket was taken down a slope by a fourth rescuer and was lowered using tandem belay systems. Once the patient was secured, two rescuers carried the stokes on a rack controlled descent while another rescuer repelled at the head of the basket to assist with patient and rescue safety. Once the patient had reached Olga Road, she was taken off the Stokes system and transferred to the Paramedic on the scene for further evaluation and transport. The patient was transported to the hospital by Airlift Northwest in stable condition.
OIFR’s Technical Rescue Team conducts routine training and drills for complicated rescue needs such as this. The rescue team was led by Lt. Rich Harvey and included: Geoff Nelson, Shawn Simpson, Ben Luna and George Schermerhorn. Battalion Chief/Paramedic Bryce Hamilton provided incident command and the medical director, Dr. Michael Sullivan, was on scene and supervised logistics during the rescue until the patient was loaded into the ambulance to perform a trauma exam and recommend the hospital transport. Due to the response and team effort, follow-up revealed the patient sustained a neck injury; but is expected to make a full recovery without deficits or long-term medical problems. There were no injuries to rescue personnel.