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File Photo from Team Training

A seventeen year old female hiker with suspected spinal injuries was stretchered off Kings Gully by members of the Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team last Thursday the 18th of October following a multi- agency rescue operation. Deputy Team Leader Alan Sayers outlined the day’s events. “We received a call from ambulance control last Thursday at approximately 1506 hours in relation to an injured female hiker on Kings Gully which is in the Glencar region. Initial reports indicated that the injured hiker was part of a five person party, had fallen and sustained injuries to her lower back, hip and knee areas. We immediately initiated a full team callout and were ale to mobilise seven volunteer rescue personnel within a half hour period”.

“Due to the potential severity of the girls injuries and factoring in the inclement weather conditions this quickly developed into a multi-agency rescue operation. Paramedics from the H.S.E Ambulance Service were on site and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Strandhill was also scrambled”.

“Our initial team reached the area and quickly ascended the track to the Kings Gully area where the girl was located. Although we were working on uneven ground with a significant slope we had to treat for possible spinal injuries, with the assistance of the ambulance staff the girl was stabilised and immobilised before being loaded onto our stretcher. We were able to stretcher carry the casualty to the roadside and then transfer her to a waiting ambulance; she was immediately conveyed to Sligo General Hospital Emergency Department for further treatment”.

“The coordination involved in utilising the Ambulance Service, the Coastguard and Mountain Rescue requires precise communication and recognition of skills and most appropriate roles. This rescue operation proceeded very smoothly due to the joint training exercises carried out and to the personal familiarity we have developed with each other, it augers well for the future of mountain rescue in the region. We hope”, concluded Mr Sayers, “that both locals and tourists alike can continue to enjoy the recreational benefits of our local upland areas in a responsible manner”.

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