Press Release posted 7/7/12 – During the month of June, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) responded to 18 calls for assistance. Details on a selection of the calls are described below.
A Busy June 3rd: The afternoon of June 3rd turned out to be very busy for SMSR. The afternoon started with the rescue of a hiker suffering from chest and abdominal injuries near Hermit Falls. While rescuers were responding to the initial call, rescuers received word of two hikers in distress near Roberts Camp. Shortly after the conclusion of the first two calls, SMSR was paged to respond to the Sturtevant Falls area for a hiker who had suffered a severe ankle injury while hiking with her family. Personnel from the Los Angeles County and the Sierra Madre Fire Departments joined SMSR in treating and transporting a total of four people to local hospitals.
Even though the 3rd had already been a busy day, it wasn’t over for rescuers. Early in the evening, SMSR was requested as a mutual aid resource to support the Montrose Search and Rescue Team in the search for 4 overdue backpackers in the Switzer Falls area. Search crews worked late into the night before bivouacking in the field and resuming search assignments at dawn. The subjects were successfully located just before noon on the 4th and escorted out of the area.
June 23rd – A repeat of June 3rd? With the 3rd having kicked off June as the busiest month of 2012 to date, the 23rd began to shape up as another very busy day ultimately resulting in three back to back operations.
On the first operation the Team responded to the Upper Winter Creek trail above Chantry Flat to evacuate a hiker with an injured ankle 2 miles up canyon from the trailhead.
As members were returning to town, the Team was requested to assist Altadena Mountain Rescue with a rescue in Eaton Canyon.
At the conclusion of the Eaton Canyon assist, SMSR received another mutual aid request from the Montrose Search and Rescue Team in the search for Ertug Ergun, a hiker who had gone missing in the Stoneyvale Campground area. Team members responded at “first light” on 6/24 to search several canyons in the Mt. Lukens area. SMSR personnel continued to join the search effort throughout the week. Sadly, Mr. Ergun was located deceased on June 30th.
Now that schools are out for the summer and temperatures on the rise, outdoor recreationalists are reminded that being prepared is crucial for a safe trip into the mountains. Always carry the 10 essentials and make sure someone knows where you’ve gone and when you will return. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Hiker Plan is a good way to document your plans.
For more than sixty years the all-volunteer Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team has been responding to calls for help in the local mountains and beyond. Funded entirely by private donations, SMSR provides a range of public programs on wilderness safety in addition to its search and rescue activities. The Team never charges for any of its services.
For more information, including how to arrange a wilderness safety demonstration for your school or group, visit www.smsr.org.