Firefighters set up rope rescue for man who fell down incline

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

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Firefighters set up a rope rescue late Wednesday morning in Camas after a 35-year-old Department of Corrections inmate fell about 20 feet down an embankment.

The inmate, whose name was not available, was sent to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center with unknown injuries, said Dawn Johnson, spokeswoman for Fire District 6. He was awake and breathing, she said.

The man was part of a Larch Corrections Center work crew removing ivy across from Forest Home Park. He fell down the steep slope and came to rest about 40 feet above Northwest Sixth Avenue. The Camas-Washougal Fire Department was called to the scene just after 11 a.m.

Crews arrived and found the man, who was complaining of back pain, said Capt. Geoff Robbins, with the Vancouver Fire Department and Region 4 Technical Rescue team.

Camas firefighters secured the man in place and called the technical rescue team. Heavy Rescue 5 from the Vancouver Fire Department and Technical Rescue 61 from Clark County Fire District 6 responded.

Crews from Vancouver fire deployed ropes from the top of the hill while Fire District 6 personnel secured the man on a stretcher. The man then was lowered about 40 feet to street level, where a Camas-Washougal ambulance was waiting.