A seventeen year old hiker with suspected spinal injuries was stretchered off Kings Gully, Glencar by members of the Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team last Thursday, October 18 following a multi-agency rescue operation.
The local mountain rescue team received the 999 call at approx 3pm in relation to an injured female hiker on Kings Gully 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.
Deputy Team Leader Alan Sayers told the Leitrim Observer, “We immediately initiated a full team call out and were able to mobilise nine volunteer rescue personnel within a half hour period.
“Due to the potential severity of the girl’s injuries and factoring in the inclement weather conditions this quickly developed into a multi-agency rescue operation. Paramedics from the HSE Ambulance Service were on site and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Strandhill was also scrambled,” he explained.
Mr Sayers said, “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”.
Alan told the paper that the teenage girl was part of a group from Lough Allen Adventure Centre, from outside Drumshanbo. He said she was in a lot of pain in her lower back on site, but thankfully hospital tests showed up no serious damage to her spine. She was provided with medication for pain relief.
He said the girl had taken a tumble on the mountain and had hit off a number of rocks. The entire rescue operation from mountain to hospital took around two hours which is very good considering the mountain terrain and the co-ordination needed between different services.
“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,” Mr Sayers stated.
“We hope that both locals and visitors alike can continue to enjoy the recreational benefits of our local upland areas in a responsible manner,” he said.
Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team is a wholly voluntary organisation providing a 999/112 rescue service to the upland and mountainous regions of Counties Sligo and Leitrim.
The team relies on public contributions to maintain this valuable service and will be holding their annual Flag Day on Saturday, October 27. The public’s support on the day would be greatly appreciated.