A woman in her seventies hiking the trail system around Watson Lake required assistance from the Prescott Fire Department and YCSO Backcountry on Thursday when she became overwhelmed from the heat. The Prescott Regional Communication Center received the call for help around noon, stating that the woman, who was hiking with her daughter, was lightheaded and unable to complete the walk out.
Two Prescott Fire engine companies, the technical rescue support vehicle, a Prescott Battalion Chief, and a Yavapai County Sheriff Office Backcountry team member responded to the area. Rescuers hauled in all the required equipment to provide medical support as well as a wheeled Stokes basket to bring the woman back out. Rested and rehydrated, the woman was able to walk out with assistance on her own. Firefighters familiar with the trail system were able to hike the woman to a closer exit point on the trail. She was evaluated by Lifeline Ambulance personnel but ultimately refused further treatment or transport. The entire process lasted over two hours.
The fire department would like to once again remind everyone to properly plan for emergencies while hiking. Adequate water is a must, especially when the humidity in combination with the high temperatures creates a substantial heat index. Wear appropriate clothing, to include a hat. While a cell phone is useful, local geography may limit its reception. Hike with partners and let others know what trails you will be using and when you anticipate returning.