Blue Ridge Parkway
Nelson County, Virginia
Verbatim press release from Wintergreen Fire & Rescue:
“On 11/11/18 at 9:50 AM Wintergreen Fire & Rescue were dispatched to a possible foot fracture at the Reeds Gap access to the Appalachian Trail. Upon arrival crews were met by a hiker who informed them the accident actually occurred the night before and the patient was still located on the trail. Crews requested manpower assistance from Montebello Fire Department and Wilson Fire Department. Teams deployed from mile-marker 15 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Patient contact occurred at approximately 12:30 PM. Based upon experience of the crew with patients in a similar location, the decision was made to continue South on the trail rather than attempting to double-back. Piney River Fire Department was added to the assignment due to their extensive experience operating in the area where the patient would ultimately be delivered. At approximately 3:00 PM the extraction team contacted command to advise the trail was treacherous and they were afraid they wouldn’t make it out before dark unless they had additional assistance. A decision was made to conduct a county-wide page for additional assistance.
By 4:00 PM a few people each from several different departments arrived to assist. Crews traveled by Kubota (Piney River FD) until a swollen creek blocked their path, at which point they continued on foot. 10 personnel traveled in to assist with removal.
Just before 6:00 PM the patient arrived at the ambulance for evaluation and transport to UVA with non life-threatening injuries. A 16-year veteran of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue, Captain Jeremiah Fish described the incident as the “most difficult trail related call he has ever experienced”. Without the help of all involved, it simply wouldn’t have been possible.
Chronological Involvement (apologies for any errors or omissions)
The guardian who hiked for hours just to get help because there was no cell signal.
Wintergreen Units 179, 173, ATV1, Squad 1, 174, C1.
Wilson Utility 196 & 197
Piney River Attack 26 with ATV
Gladstone Fire & EMS 152
Lovingston Fire Attack 16
Faber Fire Department provided personnel.
Rockfish Fire helped with coverage for Wintergreen during the event.
From start to finish, there were over 30 persons involved. There were no rescuer injuries.
Curtis N. Sheets, MPA
Chief of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue”