Foreign Visitor Rescued After Suffering Cardiac Distress on Park Trail

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Date: September 5, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

On Wednesday evening, September 4, a team of 20 National Park Service employees and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS staff responded  to a medical emergency involving a hiker on the Hermitage Point trail in Grand Teton National Park. Responders located and assisted a 74-year-old woman from Amsterdam, Holland who was reported to be in cardiac distress. The foreign visitor was assessed and initially treated on scene for cardiac atrial fibrillation and subsequently transported via an Air Idaho life flight helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 

The Hollander and her husband were hiking the Hermitage Point trail near Colter Bay around 5:30 p.m. when she began to experience apparent heart problems. Her husband hiked approximately three miles to the Colter Bay Ranch House restaurant to seek help. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a call for assistance at 6:45 p.m. and immediately notified park rangers that a woman was experiencing cardiac difficulty on the Hermitage Point trail. 

Two 'hasty teams' with park paramedics set out from separate trailheads to quickly reach the woman who was several miles out on the eastside of the Hermitage Point trail. Jackson Hole Fire/EMS personnel were conducting a training exercise at Station 4 in Moran, and six members of the team also responded to assist in the rescue operation. 

Due to the nature of this medical emergency, an Air Idaho life flight helicopter was summoned and an emergency landing zone was established in a nearby meadow. The patient was placed into the ship and in flight to Idaho Falls by 9:45 p.m. 

While the Hermitage Point rescue operation was ongoing, a second emergency call came in to Teton Interagency Dispatch Center for a person experiencing difficulty breathing at the Colter Bay cabin office. Some of the rescue responders diverted to the second medical incident, which turned out to be a person suffering from anaphylactic shock, and that patient was transported to St. John's Medical Center in Jackson via park ambulance. 

This marks the 27th major search and rescue operation conducted in Grand Teton National Park this year.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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