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Davis County Search and Rescue calls shoot up in recent weeks



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

CENTERVILLE — The number of calls for search and rescue over the past few weeks is way up in Davis County.

On Thursday, a woman was airlifted out with minor injuries. It's one example of how quickly things can go wrong. It's why crews are asking people to be prepared.

They've seen folks on the trails in flip-flops or at night with only a cellphone for light. They said Thursday's rescue up the Deuel Creek trailhead was quick and relatively simple, but they don't always turn out that way.

"Call came in of an injured ankle," said Brent Jensen, commander of the Davis County Search and Rescue Team.

Jensen said Thursday's operation was smooth compared to most.

"Anytime we can get people that call 911, that helps a ton, because that gives us a GPS location, or they can respond with, 'I think the hikers up there. Gave her some Advil,'" Jensen said.

People were nearby to help and managed to get enough of a signal to reach 911. Rescuers said the helicopter was not only fast, but it seemed to be the safer option out on the trailhead.

"Just based on the location ... There's numerous bridges and stream crossings on this trail, so we just look at the overall risk of bringing a patient in a wheeled litter," Kyle Wilhelm, vice commander of Davis County Search and Rescue, said.

Wilhelm said there have been a lot of ankle injuries above Davis County in recent weeks.

He said if you can't have people with you, make sure someone knows where you're headed and when you'll be back.

"You can't always rely on other hikers being up in the canyon," he said. "You can't always count on someone calling 911 for you."

Bring plenty of water, stay on the trail and make sure you know where you're going.

"A lot of people think just hike downhill and you're going to get back to civilization, and it's not always the case," Wilhelm said. "Once you get high up in the mountains, hiking downhill can lead you to a cliff. There's lots of waterfalls up in each of these canyons."

But even then, anything can happen. Many of these rescues you hear about end up being for experienced hikers.

"It can happen to anybody."

And if you're stranded and you run out of water, they add that water from a stream is better than risking dehydration. Even if you get sick, you'll at least be alive to tell the story.

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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.

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