ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca firefighters said a total of four friends  became stuck on a ledge at Ithaca Falls Wednesday afternoon after one of them crossed the safety of a viewing area and three others tried to help her, becoming stuck themselves.

All four people had to be saved in a rope rescue.

In a released statement, the Ithaca department released the following additional information about the two-hour incident:

Around 4:30 pm Wednesday, Tompkins County 911 took a call for a female hanging onto a tree branch at Ithaca Falls. The Ithaca Fire Department, Ithaca Police and Bangs Ambulance were sent to the popular waterfall, that has been the scene of many emergency responses in the past.

Police and Firefighters searched the gorge area above the falls and found four people clinging to the rock ledge, unable to climb out.

All were councilors from the Frenchwoods of the Performing Arts Camp in Hancock N.Y., in town to hike the area trails. They had started from the top, left the safety of the observation area and a female became unable to climb forward or back due to the steep cliffs and slippery shale.

The others went to assist her and became trapped themselves. Firefighters used a rope system with safety lines and attached each person to them with a harness. They were then able to negotiate the sharp terrain back up and out to safety.

No one was injured but Ithaca Police issued tickets to each of them for illegal rock climbing.

Cornell First Responders as well as Bangs Ambulance assisted at the scene which took about 2 hours from start to finish.

This comes a day after Ithaca Police and Firefighters were called to “First Dam” off of Giles Street for a female with a broken ankle.

The girl had jumped from a ledge into shallow water and needed assistance getting out. Firefighters set up a rope system and hauled her out to a waiting Bangs Ambulance who transported her to Cayuga Medical Center.

The Ithaca Fire and Police Departments remind everyone to stay out of restricted areas.

Our gorges are beautiful, but can be deadly. These incidents are not only dangerous to the victims, but put the rescuers at risk and require many resources and personnel.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca Firefighters rescued four people from a ledge at Ithaca Falls Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The rescue took about an hour and a half and was completed by 6 p.m., said Sgt. Derek Necheporek, of the Ithaca Police Department.

He said the four people we helped up from the ledge near the falls and no injuries were reported.

All four people have been ticketed for rock climbing.

The Ithaca Fire Department, Ithaca police and Bangs Ambulance were assembled along Willard Way and near the Ithaca Falls Natural Area.

This is a developing story. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.