UPDATE: Woman rescued after fall at Lacamas Park

Hiker carried up steep embankment after breaking her ankle

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: June 13, 2011, 10:58 PM

 
photoRescue personnel carry a woman across the dam at Round Lake in Lacamas Park on Monday after bringing her up a steep embankment. She fell about 15 feet while hiking below the dam shortly after 3 p.m.

(/The Columbian)

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photoLacamas Pot Holes

Rescuers rushed to Lacamas Park in Camas on Monday after a 48-year-old Vancouver woman fell while hiking.

Kevin Wilson and Kallie Fraser, two firefighter-paramedics with the Camas Fire Department, were nearby when the call came out shortly after 3 p.m. and were first to arrive.

Two young men who had been running on the trails and saw the accident met Wilson and Fraser at the park’s entrance. One runner escorted the paramedics over Round Lake’s dam and down a steep trail to the upper part of the Pot Holes, a rugged forested area of pools and waterfalls.

The woman “stumbled or slipped or tripped and fell a good 15 feet,” Wilson said later. Her left ankle was obviously broken and her arm was injured. She was conscious and in great pain.

She’d been hiking with a man and two children when she fell, and the paramedics made their way to the woman and asked the family to help.

“We told them exactly what we wanted them to do and they did it perfectly,” Wilson said.

Making sure not to let the woman’s head and neck move, the rescuers put her on a backboard, then put a cervical spine collar on her neck and foam pads on both sides of her head. They also strapped her body to the backboard.

The paramedics attached an IV line to deliver fluids and gave her pain medications. They used vacuum splints where her bones were broken. Using a device like a small bicycle pump, they removed air from inside the splints until the woman’s fractured bones were secured in place.

Camas firefighters called for the Technical Rescue Team, consisting of specially trained firefighters and paramedics with the Vancouver Fire Department and Clark County Fire District 6. Heavy Rescue 5, a truck loaded with equipment needed in rope, water and other types of rescues, came to the scene.

As many as 20 rescuers responded. They placed the woman and her backboard in a Stokes basket, a secure cagelike device that has plenty of handles and is helpful as rescuers move an injured person to safety.

They carried the woman uphill to the lake’s dam, the park and then a Camas Fire Department ambulance, Wilson said.

About 4:20 p.m., paramedics radioed a trauma alert, saying they were bringing the woman to Southwest Washington Medical Center so doctors could prepare.

The injured woman, Alevtina Yukhimets of Vancouver, was listed in serious condition at the hospital, a nursing supervisor said late Monday night. Her name was provided to The Columbian by a family member.

Round Lake is accessed at Everett Street and Lake Road. Lacamas Park has 311 acres with a restroom, parking area and a picnic shelter. Trails lead around the lake and below it to the Pot Holes, which are popular with swimmers in summer.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.