MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When an injured hiker couldn’t get off a rugged North Shore trail, a helicopter rescue crew came in.
It happened Monday afternoon just south of the Split Rock Lighthouse, and crews caught it all on camera. In the video, you can see the rushing Split Rock River near the location where the Stillwater woman injured her hip.READ MORE: Guthrie Theater To Reopen In July, With Shows Starting In October
When the 61-year-old realized she couldn’t walk, she called 911 for help.
The hiker has been identified as Lori Mildon from Stillwater. The state patrol says after Lori fell, she couldn’t move. Rescuers from the Lake County Sheriff’s office located her, but it took a special team from the Twin Cities to get her out of there.
The injured woman was found along the Superior Hiking Trail, about two miles in from the nearest highway.
“Due to her injury and the ruggedness of the terrain, they determined the best course of action was going to be to airlift her out of the area,” Lt. Tiffani Schweigart of the Minnesota State Patrol said.
That’s when Minnesota Aviation Rescue Team was called into action. It’s made up of a state patrol helicopter pilot and St. Paul firefighters, who are paramedics and EMTs. One of them had a GoPro camera on his helmet.
They flew to a clearing where Lake County rescuers had carefully moved the hiker. They wrapped her up and lifted her out.READ MORE: Judge Denies Media Requests For Cameras At Hearing For Kim Potter, Officer Charged In Daunte Wright's Death
“They would’ve had two miles,” Minnesota State Patrol pilot Dave Willar said. “I don’t know if you can see from the video, but the terrain is rugged. Lots of shale-type, slippery rocks. It would’ve taken them an hour, maybe two hours to get her down, and who knows if they would’ve had issues with slipping and uneven footing causing further pain to the victim.”
Instead, it took eight minutes to fly to an ambulance that was waiting. St. Paul fire captain Alan Gabriele was one of the rescuers.
“From what I could see, she was alert and being as comfortable as she could be,” he said. “Lake County had given her some pain medications so she appeared to be resting pretty comfortably.”
The aviation team says they’re called on a rescue like this one about 15 times a year. Most of the time, the situations are resolved before they arrive at the scene. At Monday’s incident, they say they were truly needed.
“It’s a very quick and efficient way of doing a rescue, and from the patient’s perspective, it’s a lot better for them,” Willar said. “They can get to a hospital a lot quicker.”
The hiker was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth and treated for a dislocated hip and a leg injury. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says she and her husband had spent the weekend at Grand Superior Lodge.MORE NEWS: Joseph Ness Charged With Murdering Older Sister In Family's Chanhassen Home
The Department of Public Safety created the aviation rescue team in 2011, and they say they train twice a month to be prepared for missions like the Split Rock rescue.