Phoenix Fire airlifts hiker off Camelback Mountain

Jul 1, 2023, 8:00 PM

Phoenix rescue helicopter file photo. (Twitter/Phoenix Fire Dept.)...

Phoenix rescue helicopter file photo. (Twitter/Phoenix Fire Dept.)

(Twitter/Phoenix Fire Dept.)

PHOENIX — Despite repeated heat-related warnings and the closure of trails, the Phoenix Fire Department rescued an overheated hiker along the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback Mountain Saturday afternoon.

After receiving a 911 call, technical rescue teams responded to the trail and located an adult female hiker approximately 1/2 mile from the trailhead who had become overheated, according to Capt. Shaun DuBois of the Phoenix Fire Department.

After a brief medical evaluation, the rescue team determined that even though the patient was stable, she would not be able to walk down the trail safely.

Rescue technicians used a hoist operation and the Phoenix fire and police departments’ rescue helicopter, Firebird 10, to remove the patient from the trail.

After the patient was safely removed, she was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Since 2021, the city of Phoenix has closed Camelback Mountain’s Echo and Cholla trails and the Piestewa Peak Summit and associated trails from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning. The trails were closed Saturday.

According to reporting by Cronkite News Service, the city of Phoenix is considering extending closure hours on excessive heat days because even though the closures are in place, fire personnel continue to rescue hikers before or after the closure hours. Most often, those in need of rescue are already on the grounds when gates are closed and admission is restricted.

Last year, there were 18 days when the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning, and the trails at Camelback and Piestewa were closed.

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Phoenix Fire airlifts hiker off Camelback Mountain