Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fall at Ferne Clyffe leads to airlift

Emergency Medical Technicians from Johnson County Ambulance service wheel an injured hiker to an awaiting Air Evac Monday night in Goreville.
Emergency Medical Technicians from Johnson County Ambulance service wheel an injured hiker to an awaiting Air Evac Monday night in Goreville.

A young man from Marion was airlifted from Goreville to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis Monday night after sustaining several injuries from a fall at Ferne Clyffe State Park.

The hiker was conscious throughout the process of getting him airlifted and Emergency Medical Technicians on the scene said he was in “stable condition.”

Officials estimated the height of the fall between 40-45 feet and said the young man slid part of the way before landing in an area of uneven rocks.  The hiker was complaining of pains “everywhere” as emergency crews worked to secure his injuries and move him onto a backboard for transport.  He was transported to the parking lot of Blue Funeral Home in Goreville where an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter from Perryville, Mo. was awaiting his arrival.

Goreville Fire Chief Tim Gage and volunteer firefighter Kenny Swisher arrived in the park as first responders while Johnson County Ambulance crews were en route.  Emergency Medical Technicians on the scene said the hiker sustained a possible right leg fracture, a possible left wrist fracture, possible cracked ribs and spinal injuries.  The hiker reported he may have lost consciousness before the arrival of medical personnel and was complaining of “pain” in his chest.

“Everything went very well and as it should have,” said first responder Swisher.  “Several of us were actually in an EMT class in Vienna when the call came.”

Swisher, who is already an EMT, said 140 hours of classes are required every four years to keep an EMT license current.  Students who helped at the scene said this was their first time to work a trauma scene.  Emergency personnel arrived on the scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. and worked in low-light conditions using flashlights as they fashioned splints and conducted primary and secondary surveys on the patient.

Officers from Johnson County Sheriff’s department were also on hand and worked with members of the Goreville Police Department in controlling traffic as Goreville first responders prepared the the landing zone at Blue Funeral Home.

“Everything went smooth,” Swisher said.

No further information was available at the time of the accident.

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