Hiker with broken leg

January 15, 1981
North Fork, San Jacinto River

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By Kevin Walker

At a little after 10:00 in the morning my dad, Walt Walker, came into the shop and told me that a hiker had fallen and injured himself while descending the fisherman’s trail To Whom It May Concern: the North Fork. I quickly changed and gathered my gear, then picked up the No. I Van. The No. 2 Van was at Walt's for routine maintenance, so he loaded his gear in to it and off we went with the vans for the Control road, which was the original road up to Idyllwild from the San Jacinto area. Now a fire control road, we left the No. I Van where the dirt road starts, and consolidated gear into the No. 2 Van which has a better wheel clearance. After driving in approximately four miles we came upon where the operation was taking place. There we found that Hemet Valley Ambulance owner/Hemet team member Gary Fritzinger, and Dr. Pete Boss, also a Hemet member, had already gone down to assess the injuries. At the top where we waited there was a large crew from the forestry waiting to assist. We did not wait long before Gary radioed up that the unfortunate hiker had fractured his lower left Tibia. Gary also stated that they were about 400 feet below us, and if we came down with the RMRU wheeled litter and would tail out a 300 ft. goldline, we would be able to have the forestry's vehicle winch pull the litter back up the steep hillside. Walt and I plus a few eager fire volunteers started down with the litter from the road. Within minutes we were at Our destination. Gary and Pete had sprinted the leg of the hiker. So, we carefully loaded the injured man into the litter, and secured him in. We radioed back up that we were ready, and that the haul line was hooked up. With that the winch started pulling, and we guided the litter around obstacles such as brush and boulders, as we were pulled up. But all in all it went smoothly and soon we were back to the dirt road and the waiting ambulance. After loading the man into the ambulance we secured the mission. just a quick note. You may have noticed that Walt and I were the only RMRU members present. It was decided after arriving at the road head and assessing things that no extra help would be needed because of the closeness to the road, and that meant that extra members would not have to be away from work.