LA County

Two Hikers Are Rescued From the Same Mountain A Day Apart

This team had to rescue not one, but two stranded hikers in the same place just a day apart.

They risk their lives to save others, and this time the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Air Rescue 5 team did it back to back.

This team had to rescue not one, but two stranded hikers in the same place just a day apart.

The situation, very tense, was near the summit of Mount Baden Powell, which is one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains.

"For him in that situation - a slip and fall could be lethal," said Brice Stella, LA County Deputy Sheriff and Paramedic.

The Air Rescue 5 team raced to the scene as soon as they got the first call Monday - a man stuck at the top of Mount Baden Powell 9,000 feet in the air.

"He couldn't move because he was on a big ice field and he was afraid if he slipped, he was going to go a few thousand feet," Stella said.

The sheriff's deputy was on the line for the rescue. He says it's all too common for hikers to find themselves in danger on the mountain this time of year.

"It seems so being from the basin you can't even see snow, but on the north side it's just a massive ice field," Stella said.

In this case, the man was rescued without a scratch. The very next day, in the same location, there was a 911 call for a woman seriously injured.

"She was hiking. She did have micro spikes on but she slipped off the trail, slid about 200 feet and hit a tree," Stella said.

The team lowered the sheriff's deputy to assess her injuries. He used the side of his ax to level a spot in the ice and then secured her in a rescue harness.

"Its nickname is a screamer suit. It pretty much says it all," Stella said.

Once she was buckled in, the hoist operator was able to lift both the patient and the deputy safely into the waiting chopper.

"You want to talk about the real hero - the real hero is that helicopter," he said. "It has the power to do hoist operation with a crew of five with a huge payload of gear."

But, it's also the pilots and paramedics with the years of training and experience that execute these high altitude rescues.

"It's our job. It's what the citizens of LA County should expect from us. It's what we are paid to do," Stella said.

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