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Prescott Firefighters Rescue Watson Lake Hikers Overcome by Heat
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31 July 2016   Conrad Jackson, PFD

Three hikers at Watson Lake needed assistance in the heat.

Prescott firefighters were called upon to assist in the rescue of a 26-year-old female hiking around Watson Lake. At 2pm Saturday the Prescott Regional Communications Center received a call from the woman’s boyfriend stating that the woman was possibly suffering from heat exhaustion after running out of water while attempting to complete the trail around the north side of Watson Lake. Dispatchers were able to track the cell phone signal to a location roughly 300 yards northwest of the dam. The two-person crew of Rescue 73 hiked to the patient on foot while the technical rescue firefighters from station 74 deployed their boat into the lake and proceeded to a known extraction point regularly used for rescuing patients on the north end of the lake.

The crew from 73 started an IV on the woman and gave her fluids in addition to providing bottled water. Once somewhat recovered, the woman was able to walk under her own power to the extraction point though the process took over an hour to travel several hundred yards. She was taken by boat to a waiting Lifeline ambulance where she was further evaluated and eventually refused further treatment.

While conducting this rescue, firefighters were approached by a second couple who stated that they too had run out of water while attempting the same hike and could travel no further. Firefighters provided them with water and transported them to their vehicles but provided no medical assistance. Firefighters would like to once again remind folks to be adequately prepared when going hiking. Hikers should notify family or friends of their intended route as well as anticipated return time. On their person they should be bringing food and adequate water to cover the hike and any unexpected delay in travel which could extend their time exposed to the elements.

Fortunately these hikers were in a location which had a cell phone signal and that signal in turn was useful for obtaining an accurate location. This is not always the case in our mountainous region and hikers should be prepared to deal with possible delays in rescue.