Lansing, N.Y. — A 12-year-old boy was rescued by emergency responders after slipping and falling off a cliff near the Cargill Salt Mine Monday afternoon, according to Lt. Tommy Basher of the Ithaca Fire Department.

Here’s the account Lt. Basher gave of the 2 p.m. incident:

Crews were called to 176 Reach Run after the boy fell half-way down a hill and landed on a tree root, where he was stopped. Unable to climb up or down, the boy called 911 using his cell phone.

The Ithaca Fire Department’s Rope Rescue Team was called in for help. Lt. George Apgar, arriving on scene, was able to rappel through steep terrain, trees, bushes and loose shale to find the boy.

“Lt. Apgar secured the boy in a harness and the two rappelled down just shy of 300 feet to the train tracks bellow, where other rescuers were waiting,” Basher said.

The boy was shaken up but only sustained minor injuries. He was taken by Bangs Ambulance to Cayuga Medical Center for evaluation.

Basher said the entire rescue took about two hours.

Basher added:

“This was the second time in a week that the Ithaca Fire Dept.’s Rope Rescue teamed was deployed. Last week an elderly man in Danby fell into the gorge in his back yard and the Ithaca FD team assisted the Danby FD with his rescue.

Ithaca and Lansing firefighters remind everyone to understand and follow all posted signs and be aware of your surroundings. Rock climbing is extremely dangerous in our area due to the geography of loose rock and shale and should not be done. Areas that were once solid, after the freezing and thawing of winter, can become unstable and dangerous. Stay in safe, designated, open areas and hike with a partner. Always know where you are and carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.