EMS Rope Team Rescues Two at Wisconsin State Park


Brian D. Bridgeford | | Saturday, June 30, 2007

Two people suffered serious falls at Devil's Lake State Park on Saturday and had to be rescued by an ambulance rope rescue team.

Shortly after 6 p.m., a 15-year-old girl fell 40 feet while climbing on the park's East Bluff, said Lt. Jennifer Hanson of the Baraboo District Ambulance Service. The girl, who had been climbing in an area that had not been designated as safe, had deep cuts on her face and forehead that required stitches but were not life-threatening.

About an hour later, the rescue team was called to Pewitts Nest off Highway W, west of Baraboo, where a 25-year-old man jumped into the water and sustained life-threatening injuries, Hanson said.

Assistant ambulance director Jay Singleton said the man was trying to jump from the top of a gorge into a deep pool of water about 30 feet down.

"He misjudged the width of the pool at the bottom and over-jumped it and landed in a shallow area," Singleton said.

Both incidents required tricky rescues by the Baraboo Ambulance rope rescue team, which continued until well after dark.

The girl had to be raised more than 90 feet because the area where she fell is unstable, with broken rocks and boulders, Singleton said. She was treated and moved to Steinke Basin, where a helicopter took her to UW Hospital in Madison.

The man was in a spot that can only be reached by coming down a cliff face, Singleton said. Rescuers had to secure him in a basket before bringing him back up.

A second ambulance was called to evacuate the man, he said. He was also taken to UW-Hospital with several fractures and internal injuries.

Ambulance personnel did not reveal the victims' names and Hanson said she did not know where either is from.

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