With the weather is getting warmer and the sun is setting a bit later, Burbank Fire is getting called more frequently for injured and lost hikers on the trails above the foothills of Burbank.
Saturday morning at 10:26, Burbank Fire was requested for a Moutain Rescue off the trail above Wildwood Canyon one half-mile up where they responded to a report of a 53-year-old female who had fallen and hurt her leg, and also heard a snap.
This type of response calls for an engine company, truck company, a rescue ambulance, a 4 wheel drive Gator and a Battalion Chief. Close to 10 firefighters man the various equipment. The Battalion Chief had already asked if a helicopter was available to assist in locating the injured hiker, but no local law enforcement helicopter was available.
A trek of firefighters went up two different trails hoping to locate the patient. Both groups climbed the mountain and after 30 minutes they located the patient, started medical treatment and worked on the method to descend the mountain with the injured hiker. On this occasion, they found the 4 wheel Gator would not be usable, so they loaded the 53-year-old into a stokes basket and helped the patient with pain medication while they made the 20 to 30-minute hike downhill. The Battalion Chief enquired if LA County Air Rescue 5 was available and they were not so another call was made to LA County Fire and they had a helicopter available and were dispatching it from Barton Heliport.
The Captain on the hillside figured by the time a Fire Helicopter would arrive they would have made the trip to the base of the hill to an awaiting paramedic ambulance. Once on the ground with all 8 Firefighters and the patient, she was loaded into an ambulance for a trip to a local hospital.
Tips if you’re going to take a hike in the hills. Know what trail you are hiking on and where you entered the trail. It is best to go hiking with a friend as this person did, make sure you have a cell phone that is fully charged, bring enough water for both hikers, carry a whistle that can be used if you do call for help. Once the Firefighters get on the trail a whistle is a lot louder than a voice yelling and if hiking later in the evening, bring a good working flashlight.
Photo Gallery by Austin Gebhardt and Ross A. Benson