Hiker rescued near Grandfather Dam

Merrill Fire’s Rescue and EMS were called to a remote area just north of Grandfather Hydro shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon for a “female patient who had broken her leg back in the woods,” according to 911 Lincoln dispatch information. The caller had left the patient in the woods and made his way out to state Highway 107, near Tug Lake Ave. to call for help for the injured hiker.
Merrill Fire immediately dispatched an ambulance and its 6 wheeled rescue unit to the area of the scene. After arriving near the vicinity of the area where the injured female was, rescue personnel received information that the patient was located about three quarters of a mile into the woods, west of state Highway 107, across the Wisconsin River, just to the north of Grandfather Hydro Dam.
Merrill personnel along with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s department located the patient across the river and began treatment. Rescue personnel from Merrill’s Fire Department responded to the scene to extricate the patient across the river, which is in a very remote area with boulders and current above the dam. Rescue personnel utilized their newest water rescue unit known as a “Rapid Deployment Craft” to reach the patient and retrieve the patient from the west side of the river.
Due to the rugged terrain in the area, rescue personnel had to carry the patient to the ambulance about a half mile. The patient was transported to Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill. No other injuries were reported by any of the rescue personnel, during the incident.
Merrill Fire’s Assistant Chief, Steve Hintze stated that the department just purchased the “RDC” – Rapid Deployment Craft about two months ago and had trained on it several times, but this was the first time it was used on a rescue scene. He went on to add, “I don’t know how we would have gotten her across that section of the river without it.” Rescue units were on the scene for about two hours.

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