ST. GEORGE — Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel responded to five separate incidents before sundown Sunday, including one mountain biker who did not survive.
In his recollection, after eight years in his position, Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell Cashin said that he has never had five SAR calls in a single day.
“This has been pretty much just go, go, go all day long,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going on out there. All I know is every time my phone rings and it’s dispatch, I know it’s not going to be good.”
Cashin said that the day started with a call around 10:45 a.m. of an injured hiker on the Red Cliffs Hiking Trail in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area.
A male hiker approximately 15 to 20 minutes along the trail had injured his ankle, Cashin said.
Fortunately, search and rescue members as well as responders from Hurricane EMS were able to get the hiker out pretty quickly, he said.
Not five minutes later, search and rescue team members were dispatched to a call of a female hiker on the Anasazi Valley Trail (Tempi’Po’Op) who had dislocated or fractured her ankle, Cashin said.
Santa Clara-Ivins emergency personnel also responded to the call and they were able to get the hiker out.
Within an hour of the first two incidents, rescuers were called to assist with a mountain biker who was reported as down near “Clavicle Hill” on the Bear Claw Poppy Trail.
“We didn’t know why he was down,” Cashin said.
When search and rescue arrived, CPR was in progress. An Intermountain Life Flight helicopter as well as Gold Cross Ambulance and emergency responders from the St. George Fire Department also responded to the incident.
The mountain biker, an approximately 46-year-old male from Northern Utah, did not survive, Cashin said.
At the time of the report, two more calls had come in requiring search and rescue teams to respond, Cashin said.
The first was a utility task vehicle rollover at the top part of the dunes in Sand Hollow State Park. Cashin said a male had either fractured his arm or separated his shoulder, but he was unsure because the incident was still in progress.
The fifth was for a one-year-old girl whose family is in a remote wilderness location on Little Creek Mountain near the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway. The child was reported as being extremely ill, Cashin said.
“The mother was having a hard time keeping her conscious,” he said.
Emergency personnel from Hildale as well as an Intermountain Life Flight helicopter had been dispatched to the scene at the time of the report.
As search and rescue responded to multiple calls Sunday, Cashin praised the volunteer team for consistently showing up.
“I keep on looking at all my search and rescue people and they keep coming knowing that they are not getting paid,” Cashin said. “They keep showing up.”
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