A Utah County man was taken by medical helicopter to the American Fork Hospital after Utah County Sheriff Search and Rescue workers were able to find and stabilize him in the foothills of east Orem.
“We were able to fix him up and transport him down by medical helicopter and then ambulance to American Fork Hospital,” sheriff's Sgt. John Luke said.
The man, in his 30s or 40s, began hiking above Battle Creek in Pleasant Grove when he became disoriented, lost and dehydrated. He ended up much farther south of Battle Creek, in line with the Orem public safety building.
“Where there are municipal water tanks, above way up there a couple miles,” Luke said.
There were two complications in rescuing the man — the man didn't directly call 911 and rescue crews were responding to another incident at Stewart Falls at the same time.
“It was quite delayed because he called the U.S. Forest Service first,” Luke said. The Forest Service recipient, who took the call at approximately 3:30 p.m., passed the message on to a Forest Service officer who in turn called Utah Valley Dispatch.
According to Luke, the rescue was delayed more than 1 hour because of the phone relay to dispatch. Search and Rescue found him at approximately 5 p.m.
The second rescue involved a woman who had broken her ankle at Stewart Falls in Provo Canyon. Utah Valley Dispatch received this 911 call at 3:15 p.m. and North Fork Emergency Services were able to carry her out along with county search and rescue.
“I do believe she was Life-Flighted to a hospital,” said Luke, who had been at the other call.
“We had two going on at the same time and that was complicated,” he said. “They were stabilized and likely will be released soon. “
According to Luke, June through August is the busy season for Search and Rescue. He had advice for those who want to get away into the canyons and mountains.
“Have a cellphone, let someone know where you are at, and be prepared with water, food and appropriate clothing,” Luke said.