Teen rappelling off Dixie Rock rescued by Fire Department

ST. GEORGE – A teenage girl from Salt Lake City, vacationing with her family in St. George, became tangled in her rope as she rappelled down the side of the Dixie Rock Thursday afternoon.

The St. George Fire Department responded to aid the stranded teen, whose hair had become caught in her rope as she rappelled down the hillside.

Crews rescue a stranded girl at the Dixie Rock, St. George, Utah, July 17, 2014 | Photo by T.S. Romney, St. George News
Crews rescue a stranded girl at the Dixie Rock, St. George, Utah, July 17, 2014 | Photo by T.S. Romney, St. George News

“They had all their equipment set up right,” St. George Fire Capt. Darren Imlay said. “But on her way down, she became nervous, leaned forward and got her hair caught in the figure eight.”

Imlay said this is a common mistake among new rappellers.

“Once you’re caught, you’re stuck,” he said. “If you continue down, it could tear your scalp off.”

The St. George Fire Department Technical Rescue Team responded to the Dixie Rock after the teen’s family called 911. Once on scene, they performed what is called a “pick off.” The St George Fire Department put their own rappelling system in, then rescuers proceeded down the side of the hill and lifted her off her ropes.

“We pretty much take her off the ropes, lift her off and lower her down,” Imlay said. “She was stuck on the side of the hill for around 20 minutes.”

After the teen was lowered to the ground, rescuers established that she was uninjured.

In light of the incident, the St. George Fire Department urges people to be safe and smart while rappelling.

“There are a lot of good anchors, already drilled, on the top of the hill; in fact, we used an existing anchor,” Imlay said. “This is our third rope rescue this year. A lot of people self-rescue, but we still respond to five or six a year.”

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  • Concerned July 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m glad to hear our resources are being spent wisely. I counted four emergency vehicles. It seems to me that a volunteer group could be used for something as simple as helping someone of Dixie Rock. Mayber I’m crazy.

  • St. George Resident July 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I don’t fault her for the mistake. I fault her instructor.

  • Mike Beers July 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Tuck your hair in your shirt! Being scalped is never a good thing! And to reply to above post, we still have a volunteer Fire Department. I’m glad the resources are available and training in more simple situations is always helpful.
    Thank you volunteers!!!

    • My Evil Twin July 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Don’t know if you are crazy, but you certainly are uninformed. Really.
      Do you not think it is better to have more than enough people and equipment on hand, than it is to have not enough?

      • My Evil Twin July 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

        Above post was meant for “Concerned,” not for Mike. . .

  • Beverly Sands July 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you (always) for being there SGFD…now…SEND HER THE BILL!

  • johnboy July 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    We have excellent fire rescue here in St. George but we as tax payers shouldn’t
    have to foot the bill. If you want to play, you got to pay!!!!!

  • Bender July 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    The sport rappell – a vertical lobotomy

  • anonymous July 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I can’t believe how ignorant people can be, and I’m not referring to the child who’s hair got caught in her figure 8.

  • sick of stg idiots July 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    accidents happen people. Next time you guys are in need of help, I hope they don’t send enough people, take too long, send you the bill, and people ridicule you for your stupidity. We’ll see how much you guys are laughing then.

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