Mountain rescues keep crews busy

It was a busy day for rescue crews Sunday who responded to three mountain rescues, one of which turned deadly.

Around 1 p.m., the Phoenix Fire Department rescued a 37-year-old woman off Camelback Mountain after she kept passing out.

Officials told ABC15, she injured herself because she kept falling while hiking on the Cholla Trail. The woman was taken down the mountain by wheelbarrow and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

Around the same time, Phoenix fire crews also worked to rescue a 50-year-old woman off Piestewa Peak.

Authorities said the woman fell and bumped her head. Officials said she came down the mountain by herself and refused treatment.

Around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department said a man died while hiking on the Elephant Mountain Trail in Cave Creek.

The man apparently suffered a heart attack and fell. The group of people he was hiking with performed CPR, but the man did not survive.

The Phoenix Fire Department recommends following these seven basic rules to stay safe while hiking:

1. If you have any doubt at all as to whether you should climb a trail or mountain, DON'T. The climb up can be difficult but the climb down is always more difficult.  See the trails rating guide and look for the icon on each trail's hiking map.

2. Be sure to wear proper footwear. This would include hiking boots or high top sneakers; something with plenty of ankle support. Twisted ankles are the most common injury on mountain trails.

3. During the summer, the sun is a major factor. Be sure to wear something that provides protection from the sun - cool, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves. Wear a hat or sun visor and be sure to have plenty of water with you.

4. Stay on the trail. This is where most people get in trouble. First, the trail is the safest place to be. Second, the mountain parks are protected areas. When a hiker leaves the trail, he or she is defacing the area and there are laws against this.

5. Remember that the parks are closed from dusk to dawn. It is against the law to be in them during this time.  

6. Don't play at rappelling if you don't know what you're doing. Take lessons and do it the right way. Know your limitations.

7. Make sure somebody knows where you are going and when you are scheduled to return.



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