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Home News RCMP and EMS forced to transport injured snowmobilers on foot after crash in isolated rural area

RCMP and EMS forced to transport injured snowmobilers on foot after crash in isolated rural area

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RCMP and EMS forced to transport injured snowmobilers on foot after crash in isolated rural area
Two snowmobilers ride the trails north of Prince Albert. -- Herald file photo.

Emergency crews had to transfer two injured snowmobiler 600 yards on foot after a collision in an isolated part in rural Saskatchewan on Wednesday.

RCMP report that three snowmobilers unfamiliar with the terrain drove off a 30-foot embankment and crashed southeast of Hafford. One snowmobiler was able to walk away from the scene unassisted, but the other two were transferred on foot to ambulances by Emergency Medical Services and RCMP.

“The snow was too deep in the field to drive through, so everyone walked the 600 yards and down the embankment with a spinal board,” Blaine Lake RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Aaron Kading said. “We had serious concerns for the injured people, and everyone was very mindful of how the transport back to the ambulances was going to happen. We didn’t have a lot of options.”

RCMP were called to the scene at around 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 22. EMS from Shellbrook, Blaine Lake and North Battleford were already on route by that time. Hafford Fire and Rescue also assisted at the scene, as did several members of the public.

The three injured snowmobilers were part of a group of six travelling through the area. All three were safety transported to hospital for further treatment.

RCMP say the group was dressed appropriately for the weather and wore the proper safety equipment. Alcohol and drugs are not considered to be a factor in the crash.

Emergency crews drove to nearby Hwy 40, but that was as close as they were able to get to the scene of the crash without going on foot.

“I’m very thankful for our strong partnership with EMS,” said Kading, who responded to the scene with Const. Ryan Warner. “With their expertise, they took the lead. Hafford Fire and Rescue and several members of the public assisted too. It’s this shared response to a call for service which underscores the importance of community collaboration.”

Around 15 people total responded to the scene. All three injured riders were safely in the ambulances just after 5 p.m.

Kading said snow, wind, cold weather, and the rapidly fading daylight made the rescue a challenge.

“It was a 30 foot drop off the embankment and the only way out was to climb back up it,” he explained. “I tried holding onto weeds while we climbed back up to the top, gripping the board, and at the same time, doing my best to keep the injured person stable.”

Hafford is located roughly 140 km southwest of Prince Albert.