D2000 Instructors Support Rescue on Arizona’s Mount Graham

After falling off a rock face, a fourteen-year-old Boy Scout lay unconscious with internal injuries in a remote section of the Pinaleno Mountains in southeast Arizona.

“There’s a sliding rock up there with smooth, water-covered moss,” according to Lary Morton, D2000 Instructor and volunteer with the county search and rescue team. “The kids slide down it, and I think this time the patient just got sideways and started tumbling out of control. He got smacked up pretty bad.”

Other scouts removed the unconscious boy from the creek, but according to Morton, “when we got there he was in pretty bad shape.”

First on the scene was Mike Gojkovich, a part time D2000 instructor and AirEvac EMT. Mike stabilized the patient and administered an IV.

Lary and Greg Arbizo, another D2000 instructor, were airlifted to the top of the mountain where they were met by one of the Boy Scout leaders. “He told us it was a three mile hike down, but it’d feel like ten miles coming back up,” Lary said. “That was some rugged terrain.”

“We got him stabilized and placed him in a Stokes basket,” Greg Arbizo explained. “Then he had to move him quite a ways until we could find a spot where we were out from under the trees.”

At this point the helicopter was brought in to perform a short haul. This involved connecting the patient and an attendant to the hovering helicopter and lifting them to a landing zone. Here the patient could be transferred inside for evacuation to the hospital.

The youth suffered a variety of internal injuries but was expected to make a full recovery.

“We didn’t do this rescue by ourselves,” according to Frank Maldonado, another D2000 instructor who helped stabilize the patient. “There were a lot of other people involved including members of the Cochise and Graham County Search and Rescue Teams, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and other members of the Freeport McMoRan Technical Rescue Team.”

Jim Johnson April 17, 2014
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