Roanoke County Fire and Rescue says 2018 hiker fall helped with Sunday’s McAfee Knob rescue
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - In just under an hour, first responders reached a man who fell 50 feet from the McAfee Knob summit early Sunday morning.
“I do think some of our initial information said the subject had stumbled and fell off the top,” says Brian Clingenpeel of Roanoke County Fire and Rescue. “I can’t exactly speak to the cause, we weren’t there when it happened, we just found him at the bottom. When our paramedics got there, they were reporting that he had a stable airway but was in serious condition.”
It took three all-terrain vehicles and 30 first responders to rescue the hiker. Roanoke County Fire and Rescue says the hiker made it to the hospital alive, but with life-threatening injuries.
His current condition and hiking experience level have not been made public.
Rescuers handled a situation similar to this about four years ago.
“In July of 2018 we had a subject in his 60s who also fell off the top,” remembers Clingenpeel. “That was the first time that any of us could remember anybody had fallen off the top. I think we used some of that experience from four years ago to kind of know how we were going with this one.”
Logistically knowing the best path and where to land the helicopter were details that helped in this rescue from past experience.
While we don’t know what caused this hiker to fall, first responders stress to be as aware and safe as possible on all parts of a hiking trail.
“When you make it up there to the top for that payoff, for that view, please stay back from the edge,” he asks. “You’ve just got to be extremely careful when you’re at the top.”
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