Great teamwork between members from multiple agencies lead to the rescue of a hiker trapped in harsh conditions.
A hiker who had injured herself near the peak of the Cathedral Ranges needed to be airlifted from the scene.
Crews from Monbulk, Buxton and Marysville Fire Brigades, Fire Rescue Victoria, Marysville SES, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria responded the call at 10:17am on 10 June.
A combined crew of emergency service members made their way up the rocks towards the patient. The climb was made difficult by the cold weather and wet rocks.
Monbulk Fire Brigade 4th Lieutenant Josh Leigh said it was a tricky ascent.
“It was a difficult hike having to carry gear, including ropes and a stretcher, on wet and slippery rocks. We had to setup our own ropes to safely climb in some areas and it was also extremely foggy which made it bitterly cold towards the top.”
SES and Ambulance Victoria members stabilised he patient in preparation for rescue before CFA, SES and FRV crews set up a high angle rescue system, moving the patient 20 metres up to the peak for airlifting to Ambulance Victoria’s awaiting helicopter.
The heavy fog made extraction of the patient impossible, so the difficult decision was made to camp overnight with two wilderness paramedics remaining behind while the rest of the team climbed down.
“The hike back down was very difficult and physical, almost exhausting as we had to rely on our head torches to get down in the dark,” said Josh.
“By the time we made it back home, it had been almost 12 hours since we started the rescue.”
The next morning, with conditions improving slightly, Ambulance Victoria were able to winch the patient onto the helicopter and take her to safety.
The combined effort of the emergency service personnel made rescuing the patient possible, working as one to ensure the patient was able to be extracted safely.
“Being able to work together with our other emergency service colleagues was a great experience, we worked as one team and had great rapport with each other,” Josh concluded.