Hiker rescued on Sharp Top Mountain after passing out

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 4:01 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s a situation first responders are saying could have been a whole lot worse when they responded to Sharp Top Mountain to rescue a hiker Wednesday.

“It’s such a relief,” says Lt. Alex McKinney of the Bedford Fire Department.

No injuries were reported after a hiker rescue on Sharp Top Mountain. Bedford Fire and Bedford County Fire and Rescue went to the mountain Wednesday morning following a call that a woman had passed out at the summit.

“It was more of a medical emergency; she was very dehydrated and passed out and didn’t feel safe walking down on her own,” he adds.

After driving up the mountain and more than a ten-minute hike, first responders found the hiker.

“She was awake. She was alert and talking to us, but you could tell she was kind of pale and just didn’t feel very well,” explains Lt. McKinney. “I’d say probably the majority of it was heat-related. Heat and humidity together, because you can’t sweat like you’re supposed to; it makes you dehydrated a lot quicker.”

Hydration is key to their own safety when rescuing others, especially on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

“From the moment we get the call and we’re dispatched, we start gaining rehab into the truck. We drink water, we drink Gatorade, we have hydration packs that we’ll drink and take with us up to the top of the mountain,” he continues.

Lt. McKinney says crews visit Sharp Top once or twice a week during peak hiking season. They’re grateful that Wednesday, no one was hurt.

“There are a lot of instances like these where people pass out or trip or they fall, there’s some pretty significant trauma and we have to fly people out from out here. It can get bad really quick.”

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