June 4th Ankle Injury in the Subway

June 04, 2016 Posted by: Zion National Park

On June 4, 2016 at about 7:20pm Zion dispatch received a report of an injured male in the Left Fork (Subway) drainage requesting assistance. The reporting party (RP) stated that the subject had jumped from the last rappel in the Subway route into a shallow pool of water and injured his ankle. It is unknown whether he had gear for rappelling and chose not to use it or whether he did not have equipment to rappel with him at all. He was able to move down canyon a small distance but then stopped and waited for rescue. A medic and EMT were activated and dispatched to the Left Fork drainage. They brought overnight equipment with them, and extra gear for the patient.

With help from a crutch they were able to move the subject down canyon a bit until, at about 1:45am, when the subject decided he could not continue. The Medic, EMT, subject and 2 other members of the group spent the night. On the morning of the 5th the medic reevaluated the patient's condition and determined that the subject would not be able to hike the rest of the distance out of the Left Fork drainage (about 2 miles over extremely rough terrain).

The decision was made to request assistance from the Grand Canyon with a short-haul. The Grand Canyon was available with helicopter 368. A Zion short-haul medic hiked in to the subject in the morning of the 5th and was on scene when 368 did a recon flight over the extraction point. The ship landed at the Cinder Pit Helispot and reconfigured for the short-haul. The short-haul was successfully performed and the patient was transferred to the Zion ambulance and transported to the local medical center. All units were clear by 4pm.

Lessons learned: consider the consequences of your actions before taking unnecessary risks in remote environments. Be prepared with the proper equipment for the activity you are undertaking. Be prepared with the proper knowledge to know what equipment you will need.

Subway, Helicopter, Jumping Injury, Search and Rescue

Last updated: September 16, 2016

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Springdale, UT 84767


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