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Hikers In Distress Saved Through Quick EMS Response

White Sands National Monument

National Park News

On Sunday, June 24th, rangers responded to a 911 report of two hikers suffering from heat exhaustion at milepost three on the Alkali Flat Loop Trail.  A father, 66, and his daughter, 22, left to hike the Alkali Flat Loop at approximately 8:30 a.m.; just before noon, they made the 911 call, reporting that they were completely out of water and unable to complete their hike. Rangers, Alamo West Volunteer Fire and Rescue personnel, and paramedics responded immediately. Ranger Joe Salvini hiked quickly up the trail to the hikers. Ranger Joshua Wright also responded with additional water and cooling aids. Alamo West responded with paramedics utilizing their EMS UTV from the opposite direction at the trailhead. When Salvini reached milepost three, he was unable to find the lost hikers, who had climbed to the top of a dune. While Salvini was searching the immediate area for them, the father called again and reported that his daughter was having difficulty breathing.  Salvini located them and began EMS treatment. Wright, after climbing to the top of a large dune, was able to visually locate Salvini and the hikers. He then ran three miles cross country to cut the loop and actually arrived on scene before the paramedics driving the UTV. The paramedics provided advanced life support. The hikers were transported back to their vehicle, where they declined further treatment. Kelly Roche was IC.


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