Firefighters rescue fallen young male from Bare Mountain

by Town Reminder

Firefighters rescue fallen young male from Bare Mountain
By Kristin Will
Staff Writer, kwill@turley.com

SOUTH HADLEY – Firefighters from Fire District No. 2 assisted Amherst fire and police departments for a report of an individual falling off a plateau on Bare Mountain last Wednesday night.
The incident occurred at 11:24 p.m. after a male and female ascended the Metacomet-Monadnock (M-M) Trail beginning at Bare Mountain along the South Hadley and Amherst town lines on Route 116.
It is unclear whether the 22-year-old male jumped or fell from the plateau, said Fire District No. 2 Chief David Keefe. He came to rest in the wooded area below.
Six firefighters from Fire District No. 2 responded to the scene in conjunction with South Hadley Police officers, Amherst Police officers, Amherst firefighters and a Department of Conservation and Recreation park ranger, all of whom set up camp in the parking lot of the Notch Visitor Center.
A search and rescue soon began. The female reporting party remained at the location from where the 22-year-old plummeted until the emergency responders arrived at the area. At midnight, a second group of eight emergency responders entered the woods with equipment to assist in the search and rescue, said Keefe. The pitch-blackness of the night proved difficult for the responders, who operated solely by flashlight.
The female reporting party described to responders the location from where the male had fallen. They pinpointed a possible area where he could have landed and implemented a rope rescue once locating him. He was found to be unresponsive on scene, said Keefe.
A total of 31 emergency response personnel were sent into the woods to transport the 22-year-old male. An attempt was made to call for a helicopter, said Keefe, because the extent of the male’s injuries were unknown at that time, however, there was not one available.
Six individuals at a time would carry the stretcher with the patient down the trail and after a few minutes would pass it off to another six individuals behind them. The first six would then walk to the back of the line of responders until their turn would again arrive to transport the patient down the steep, rocky trail. The condition of the 22-year-old male was continually monitored as he was transported to safety. Keefe said a number of the emergency responders suffered twisted ankles.
Once the team arrived at the base of the trail, the patient was quickly transported via a waiting ambulance to Baystate Medical Center. At the time of the ambulance transport, said Keefe, the patient was somewhat responsive.
“Because of where he was at the time, and because it was at nighttime, it was a big undertaking,” said Keefe. However, “It went pretty smoothly,” he said. Keefe credited the ability of Amherst’s technical rescue team. “They were able to, in the dark, work all that stuff out. They just know what to do,” he said.
The command was terminated at 3 a.m. Thursday morning. The current condition of the 22-year-old male is unknown as of press time.

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