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2013-12-02 at 17:05

Dangerous rescue

By Jodi Lundmark,
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A weekend mountain rescue is the most challenging and dangerous rescue city fire crews have had to perform in fire Chief John Hay's memory.

"I couldn't think of worse conditions to do it in. The only thing that would be worse is if there were more than one victim," he said Monday at the Vickers Street fire hall.

A 24-year-old male attempted to use a speed wing parachute from the top of Mount McKay late Saturday afternoon and became stuck on the side.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue received the call shortly after 5:30 p.m. and were unable to make a visual sighting with darkness falling.

Fire officials said responding crews faced a lengthy and demanding rescue and did not return to the station until 2 a.m.

Hay said the darkness as well as the snowy and cold conditions are what made the rescue so difficult.

Fire crews get called to one or two rescues on Mount McKay every year and Hay said for that reason, they budget for specialized training.

Without that training, Hay said they would not have been able to accomplish this past weekend's rescue.

"This was an exceptional rescue. This is beyond a fire. This is beyond good work at car accidents," the chief said.

While there is no official word on the victim's condition, Hay said his understanding is the man suffered multiple traumas.

His advice for anyone considering a similar activity on the mountain is to think twice.

"There's not a lot of hang-gliding activity or parasailing activity associated with that mountain. That's for good reason," Hay said, adding it's also not ideal for climbing.

"It's a shale mountain. Experienced climbers stay away from those types of climbs," he said.

Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue had to bring in an extra three or four rescue technicians for the incident and Hay said the City of Thunder Bay doesn't charge for rescues.

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Fluffy says:
Job well done!
12/2/2013 6:08:41 PM
moi says:
..."doesn't charge for rescues".
This was a preventable incident/accident--perhaps it's time for a change in policy.
12/2/2013 8:54:51 PM
buzzerd says:
so is that the deciding factor if it's preventable or not? cause that would mean the city will be charging for pretty much every incident, auto collisions, skiing injuries, snow machine incidents, any type of racing incident ..........
12/3/2013 1:32:27 PM
skoday says:
Awesome job! Way to go TBFD!
12/2/2013 9:26:12 PM
Hoynthehoy says:
Ummmm great job, but didn't I just read this article but only with a different tittle? Slow news day I guess.
12/3/2013 4:44:00 AM
redgreen19 says:
Actually more details in this article. Good journalism includes following up on a story, which was done here. Well done TBFD.
12/3/2013 2:10:57 PM
Dockboy says:
I think these so-called thrill seekers should bear some responsibility for their actions. This individual put a lot of lives at risk. One of the rescuer's easily could have perished. Discourage this type of behaviour by at least having a fine system.
12/3/2013 12:37:43 PM
feduptaxpayer#1 says:
I guess something had to wake the firesleepers up!
12/3/2013 2:23:39 PM
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