ITHACA, N.Y. — A fall in the Cascadilla Creek Gorge triggered a multi-hour ropes team rescue and a LifeNet helicopter transport after a passerby allegedly found a semi-responsive individual above the trail on Sunday afternoon.
Shortly before 2 p.m., Tompkins County Dispatch received a call regarding a man who had been found injured. Ithaca Fire Department, Bangs Ambulance, Cornell Environmental Health and Safety, Ithaca Police Department and Cornell Police and EMS responded to the scene and launched an effort to locate the reportedly injured individual.
Crews hiked from each end of the trail, one team from Stewart Ave and another from behind Cascadilla Hall on Cornell campus. First responders located the man at approximately the midpoint of the trail. He was about 50 feet above the trail and semi-responsive. It is unclear how the man came to be where he was found, according to a release from IFD Monday morning the operation took two hours.
Unable to safely climb up to the individual, a rope system was rigged to lower two firefighters down. The two firefighters, unable to see the individual from above, were guided in their repel by first responders below who could.
Having reached the individual, they were secured to a safety basket and lowered down to the trail below.
A combination of Police, Fire and Bangs Paramedics along with Cornell Rescuers, teamed up and carried him out of the narrow and winding trail, to an awaiting ambulance.
A LifeNet helicopter was brought in and landed at the airport to transport the victim. The condition of the man is unknown at this time and Cornell Police are investigating the circumstances of the event.
Featured images courtesy of Ithaca Fire Department