Published: Thu, June 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Injured hiker's stretcher spins wildly out of control during mountain rescue

Injured hiker's stretcher spins wildly out of control during mountain rescue

A woman in her 70s fell and hit her head while hiking on Piestewa Peak in Arizona.

A local fire official said she was treated for nausea and dizziness, but was otherwise unharmed from the ride. During a Phoenix Fire Department news conference on Tuesday-organised partially in response to the online reaction-Phoenix Fire Captain Bobby Dubnow told reporters he spoke to the woman once she was secured to the helicopter after the whirlwind adventure.

Arizona Police Department chief pilot Paul Apolinar said a line that was supposed to prevent spinning during a rescue had malfunctioned.

A routine helicopter rescue turned frightening when the basket carrying an injured woman began spinning wildly in the air.

"Once we got the forward flight, the spin got to the point where they were safely able to bring the patient up to the aircraft", Geisel said.

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"We were doing a rescue, a hoist rescue, we do a lot of them, it was a normal rescue", he said. One you probably actually see in the video is when they start to lower the load, it actually does start to stop. "We brought it down again, brought it back up, hoping some of the spin would lessen, which it didn't, obviously", he said. She was not experiencing any other symptoms related to the spin, firefighters said. He added: "It's something we don't expect, but we anticipate and we train for it".

The department's aviation unit held a press conference in response to the incident and claimed the woman had suffered no ill effects caused by the spin.

"Just an unexpected turn of events", he wrote.

Video of the Piestewa Peak rescue on ABC15's Facebook page had more than 2 million views within six hours of being posted.

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