Hiker airlifted off South Mountain trail, hospitalized for heat-related illness

Aug 4, 2023, 11:16 AM | Updated: 11:30 am

PHOENIX — A hiker with autism was hospitalized for heat-related illness after being airlifted off a South Mountain trail Friday morning, authorities said.

Rescue crews responded to the Mormon Trail around 9 a.m. and hiked to the summit, where they found a 22-year-old man in critical condition, the Phoenix Fire Department said.

Firefighters initiated advanced cooling measures to reduce the patient’s temperature and anxiety.

A helicopter was called to carry the man to a nearby park, where an ambulance was waiting to take him to the hospital.

The firefighters on the call were going through a rehab and rehydration process before returning to service.

How hot was it in Phoenix on day of rescue?

The temperature in Phoenix was in the upper 90s by 9 a.m. on a day when the forecast called for a highs above 110.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for metro Phoenix starting at 10 a.m. Friday and running through 8 p.m. Monday.

The city of Phoenix closes some of its trails while excessive heat warning are in effect, but South Mountain is not part of the restricted hiking areas.

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Hiker airlifted off South Mountain trail, hospitalized for heat-related illness