LOWELL â€“ Rescue crews spent a hot and humid Saturday rescuing an injured hiker on the Long Trail, finally carrying him to safety during a torrential downpour.
Lowell Assistant Fire ChiefÂ Calvin Allen identified the hiker only as Alfonso from the Montreal area. Allen didnâ€™t know Alfonsoâ€™s last name and personnel from Missisquoi Valley Ambulance Service said they are not allowed to give the name.
The hiker sustained an ankle injury around 5 p.m. Friday and spent the night in his tent.
â€śHe was well prepared,â€ť said Allen. â€śHe had food, water and a tent. He did all the things a hiker should do except get hurt in the middle of nowhere.â€ť
Other hikers found the injured man Saturday morning and called the state police. The hiker was somewhere between Haystack, which is part of the Long Trail, and Hazenâ€™s Notch Road. He was in fairly good spirits, Allen said.
Rescue crews initially responded to Hazenâ€™s Notch Road where they found the terrain difficult to maneuver. Some of the responders made the tricky hike up the steep and rocky grade. Others relocated the staging area to the parking lot at the end of the Tillotson Road and some entered the Long Trail from there.Â
The hike was rough and it took more than 20 people to bring the rescue toboggan to the injured hiker and carry him to the waiting ambulance. By then, it was dark and pouring rain.Â
â€śIt was some of the hardest terrain any of us had been on in our lives,â€ť said Allen, who believes the hiker slipped on a rock. â€śThe (rescue) sled empty, without anybody in it, probably weighs 50 to 60 pounds.â€ť
An ATV that first responders tried to use in the woods sustained a busted fuel line, which they fixed on the scene. However, it wouldnâ€™t have mattered, because they could not have passed through the pathÂ with the ATV anyway.Â
Members of the rescue team had to remember to keep hydrated on the hot and humid day.Â
Firefighters from Jay and Troy and personnel from Missisquoi Valley Ambulance Service assisted on the scene. Several area residents brought food and drinks for the rescue crews.