PHX FD responds to two mountain rescues Saturday

Posted at 6:33 PM, Apr 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-10 07:40:07-04

Back-to-back mountain rescues kept Phoenix fire crews busy Saturday with rescues at Camelback Mountain and Papago Park.  

Crews airlifted a 29-year-old woman to safety after she hurt her leg on the Cholla Trail at Camelback Mountain and was unable to get down.

“Unfortunately, she’s in a very precarious, bad situation as far as her location on the mountain," said Capt. Aaron Ernsberger with the Phoenix Fire Department. 

It was the crew's second rescue of the day at Camelback Mountain. It took a team of 16 firefighters using a system of ropes, pulleys, and knots to get the woman down. 

“Physically, it’s very taxing," said Phoenix Fire Capt. Tupac Enrique, who was part of the rescue. "It’s kind of a long extrication to get her down off the mountain.”

Hundreds of people hike these mountain trails every day. Rescue crews want to remind hikers, regardless of experience level, to be safe and come prepared.

“We also have experienced hikers that--the walk up here is very slippery, sometimes [they're] not prepared with enough water, and sometimes accidents happen," Enrique said. 

Each year, there are more than 200 rescues on Phoenix mountain trails.

“The Phoenix Fire Department is the highest mountain rescue performing fire department in the world," Ernsberger said. 

At nightfall, crews remained busy rescuing a hiker from Papago Park who was not hurt but in a dangerous spot at risk of falling.