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FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA - On the afternoon of January 2 longtime park volunteer, Bern Carey and several companions were conducting archeological monitoring in the backcountry of Wupatki National Monument. He lost his footing on the uneven terrain and stumbled down a short ledge. He sustained injuries to his head and arms. His companions notified monument staff of the injury, and that he had temporarily lost consciousness. Park Ranger staff requested assistance from the Coconino County Sherriff's Office Search and Rescue Unit, who assisted with a request for the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter for a backcountry evacuation.
Wupatki NM is located 26 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy 89. Mr. Carey was injured approximately two miles from the nearest road, the Sunset Crater-Wupatki Loop Road. He was evacuated from approximately two miles north of the Doney Picnic Area via DPS Air Rescue Ranger 1 and flown to Flagstaff Medical Center. He was evaluated and released from the hospital that evening.
The Flagstaff Area National Monuments consist of Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki National Monuments, and are administered by the National Park Service. Monument staff were supported during this incident by multi-agency emergency services partners.