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Park Staff Save Life Of Seriously Injured Man

Voyageurs National Park

National Park News

On August 5th, park staff received a report that a 75-year-old man had fallen into a boat from his dock and required medical assistance for possible neck and back injuries. The accident occurred at a remote water access only area along the U.S./Canadian border near the Kettle Falls hotel. Rangers quickly responded, using a concession-operated portage to transport their boat around the Kettle Falls dam and to the scene of the accident. Kettle Falls staff, park maintenance staff, and interpretive and protection rangers worked together to provide C-spine stabilization. The man was transported back to Kettle Falls by boat, where he was portaged around the dam to the park’s tour boat, which had just arrived with a group of visitors.  Rangers treated the man for the ensuing hour until the tour boat reached the Ash Visitor Center boat ramp, where an awaiting ambulance transported him to a local hospital 40 minutes away. The man was later medevaced to Duluth, where it was determined that he had sustained C-1 and C-2 fractures to his neck. Physicians there advised that the care he received had saved his life.



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