The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR), the B.C. Ambulance Service and the Fire Department had a busy morning on August 6. After receiving calls at around 12:30 a.m. of an injured woman trapped on a cliff across from the Golden Municipal Campground, RCMP, Paramedics and the Fire Department rushed to the scene.
Fire Chief Ken McClure explained that there were about a dozen fire fighters that responded to the call and after assessing the area, GADSAR was called in to assist due to the dangerous environment.
“We started doing the procedure and brought GADSAR in to aid because of the instability of the bank. Our mandate is to do low slope and that was more of a high angle rescue.”
To reach the unidentified 21 year old local woman, an RCMP officer and firefighter climbed up from below and GADSAR repelled down from above. There were additional firefighters, RCMP officers and GADSAR members stationed both below and above the cliff ensuring the safety of fellow members as well as the woman. There were also paramedics on scene to give medical attention.
“We got a page from the ECC that the RCMP and B.C. Ambulance required assistance for an injured female in the area,” Shauna Speers of GADSAR explained, “we decided to do a top down rescue.”
Speers explained that once GADSAR was on scene, firefighters had already scoped out the trail and an RCMP officer escorted them down to the area.
“We were able to access her from right above from a trail system. We set up a two-rope system, I got down on the system and made my way down to her,” Speers said. “She was with an RCMP officer at this time and once I secured her, I swung her across to a flatter area where there was a firefighter. I then went back and got the RCMP officer.”
Speers said that after beginning their descent, rock fall became too much of a hazard.
“We went back up and explored other options and found a small pathway and, with assistance, we were able to walk her out with the RCMP officer and firefighter and met the paramedic below.”
In order to reach the young lady, Speers had to descend about 150 feet.
The young woman, who was walking home from work, had previously walked on a trail near the cliff but after realizing the area was too dark to know where she was going, she became trapped. The unidentified local was also complaining of an injured right ankle. Speers said that the rescue took about an hour and a half, which is quite successful for a rescue in the dark.
She also stated that although GADSAR did the rescue, “it was a mutual effort of all the organizations in town. We work really well together when we end up on a big scene. All of us had the top priority of getting her out of there safely.”