03/27/2012

Responders rappel 30ft to rescue Minn. woman


By Mara H. Gottfried
St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A 20-year-old woman fell off a cliff in the darkness in St. Paul and landed on a ledge 30 feet below, leading firefighters to rappel to rescue her.

The police and fire departments were called to Cherokee Park at 2:18 a.m. Sunday, March 25. The woman had walked down "a very steep path about 150 feet and then she dropped off the edge of the cliff," said St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard. She landed on a ledge about 30 feet below from where she fell, he said.

Two firefighters who are rescue-trained paramedics rappelled down to evaluate the woman and put her in a Stokes basket, a special stretcher used in rescues, Zaccard said. The fire department set up lights and the rescue took about 45 minutes, he said. After the basket was hoisted up and paramedics treated the woman, they brought her to Regions Hospital. She had possible fractures that may be serious, Zaccard said.

"That's quite a rescue and we're hoping she'll be OK," Zaccard said.

The woman was at the park with her friends for a campfire get-together, said Howie Padilla, police spokesman.

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