Mountain Rescue

Rescate Coordinates a Dramatic Mountain Rescue

When a person walked into the Rescate building on a quiet March morning and reported that a climber had fallen and sustained injuries Jessy Guerrero, Comandante of the Rescate de San Carlos, knew that he had a big challenge and a long day ahead of him. The injured climber had fallen 10 to 12 feet, hit his head, lost consciousness, was unable to walk and was experiencing hip pain. The injured man was a very experienced climber and was with three equally accomplished climbers, but he was high up on a mountain and the average age of the climbers was 70 years old.

Fully aware of the complexity of the task ahead of him, Jessy knew that he and the Rescate team would need specialized assistance and supplies before heading into the canyon for the trip up the mountain. Within approximately half an hour, he had called in the San Carlos police and the Guaymas fire department’s specialized mountain rescue team and had, with the assistance of the Rescate EMTs, gathered food, water, ropes, pulleys, a rescue basket to carry the patient and other necessary supplies. Once all the preparations were complete, Jessy and the Rescate ambulance driver, Felizardo Miranda Valencia, set off in an ambulance accompanied by a police four-wheel-drive vehicle, a fire department all-terrain vehicle and a large team of rescuers.

Once they reached the canyon, the rescuers had to abandon the ambulance and carried on as far as possible with the other two vehicles to a point where one of the climbers, who had come back down the mountain, met them to guide them up. Six people stayed at the trail head with the injured man’s wife, and eight first responders, guided by the climber, headed up the mountain. The final portion of the climb to the patient was too difficult and dangerous for most people, so only the two trained mountain rescuers carried on with the rescue basket to the injured man and his friends. Once they arrived at the patient, they relayed medical information to Jessy, who gave them the okay to bring the man back to the spot where he and the other first responders were waiting. Jessy determined that the patient was in medical shock and needed to be stabilized and returned to San Carlos as soon as possible. Once he was stable enough to move, he was carried down the mountain by his friends, where Jessy loaded him into the police four-wheel-drive vehicle and headed directly to the Rescate treatment center. Dr. José Canale, who was on call that day, met them at the center when they arrived sometime after 6 pm. After a thorough examination Dr. Canale determined that there were no serious injuries and allowed the patient to go home – a happy ending to an eleven hour adventure.

When Jessy tells this story, he tells it as a tale of remarkable coordination, cooperation and heroism. Downplaying his own role as coordinator, translator and EMT, he applauds everyone involved in the rescue for the part they played, including the injured climber’s friends who were such an enormous help and the patient’s wife for her role in relaying messages via telephone where service was spotty.

San Carlos residents and visitors are incredibly fortunate to have such exceptional rescue and medical services available. Please remember to show your support and appreciation whenever and however you can!