Injured Hiker

March 28, 1976
Tahquitz Canyon

Author: Bob Calybrook

With the team training at San Gorgonio, the last thing we needed was a rescue! I was at work at about 1:15 when the phone rang and a friend of mine informed me that the helicopter was going to land at the mouth of Tahquitz Canyon at 1:45 - would I please be there.

I hurried home to get my gear and made a mad dash for the road head. Upon arrival I found Deputy Ron Dye from the Sheriff's office waiting. The helicopter had gone to the wrong canyon so we waited a little longer. I asked Ron for details on what we had. He had 2 informants, Dave Dubler and Mike Guillan, whose friend, Steve Warner age 20 of Pomona, had fallen the night before about 11:00. He had fallen about 35 feet.

The next team member to arrive was Hank Schmel. We discussed the situation and decided that Deputy Dye and I would fly in and stabilize the victim. A Western helicopter arrived, piloted by Jim Davidson.

We flew up the canyon and located the victim. Jim dropped us off on a good boulder. We had a short climb to the victim. Upon arrival we found him to have a possible broken ankle and back injury. At this time more team members were flown in. They were John Dew, Hal Fulkman, Hank Schmel and Gary Gillespie. The van had not yet arrived so we borrowed equipment from the Palm Springs Fire Department in the form of a Stokes basket and a chain saw for cutting a better heliport.

The van arrived with Steve Stevens, Rich Quackenbush and Bernie McIlvoy. A better heliport was located and the victim was moved up to it. Jim flew in and we loaded the victim into the helicopter and flew him to Desert Hospital where the Palm Springs Police Department helped us unload him and also control traffic so we could land on the street. After everyone was flown out of the canyon, we all enjoyed a meal provided by the Sheriff.