EXCLUSIVE: 7 Rescues in 6 weeks and SLC Fire says they expect more

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A new warning from Salt Lake City Fire: be prepared when you head out to recreate.

Firefighters along the Avenues through Ensign Peak say they made seven rescues in six weeks.

Captian Scott Winkler with Salt Lake City Fire says, “We have had to go in and package the folks and actually cart them out on a gurney.”

The captain tells ABC4’s Jason Nguyen some of the rescues involve fatigue, stranded hikers, and mountain bike injuries.

“I would just like them to apply some common sense,” he says. “We are here for them. We want everybody to have fun, but we also want them to take on a realistic expectation of the level of their own fitness.”

Another common dominator in the rescues is dehydration.

“If we would go up right now I would say one out of every two people we see have no form of hydration with them at all and that is a big issue, especially when we hit triple digits,” says the Captain.

Firefighters at Station 4 want folks to wear the proper hiking shoes, hydrate well before the hike, and bring extra water with them for the hike especially if you’re not from Utah.

The captain says, “We do see visitors who decided to use our trail system who may not be as physically prepared or acclimated to our elevation as they could be.”

Salt Lake City Fire Search and Rescue teams carry 40-50 pounds of gear they have to hike in for each rescue.

Some of the recent rescues dealt with folks getting lost and stranded. SLC Fire says that’s where a charged cellphone can help you.

“In many cases, we can triangulate their position through an application we have in the dispatch center, and come up with a GPS coordinate where those folks are,” he adds.

Firefighters say, tell loved ones where you are hiking and the time you’re expected to be back.

If you do need rescuing, dispatchers will ask you what trailhead you are using and where you parked your vehicle.

“That way us as responders, ambulance folks, and so forth can have an idea of the shortest route to get to you to provide that needed assistance,” the captain adds.

One more warning for folks, firefighters say they have seen mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and coyotes while on their rescue missions so those are other things people need to be aware of and prepare for.

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