When a hunter took a bad fall from a tree stand near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, he was in such a remote area that it took aerial rescuers from a police helicopter to save him.
It happened just after noon on Friday. Dorchester County emergency responders were initially called out for a man that fell from a tree stand. When emergency crews got there, they quickly found his injuries were severe and he was difficult to reach, located out in marshy terrain.
Dorchester County Department of Emergency Services called in Maryland State Police Aviation Command (MSPAC) to help with an aerial rescue. Trooper 6 responded from Easton. The emergency crew on the ground reported the man had fallen about 14 feet to the ground. They were already giving him medical attention.
From overhead, MSPAC says the helicopter crew deployed a state trooper paramedic equipped with medical supplies and rescue gear. The trooper and the Dorchester County crew worked together to treat the hunter’s injuries and get him ready to be airlifted. The hunter and the trooper paramedic were hoisted 80 feet to the helicopter. Trooper 6 flew to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma as paramedics provided medical care en route.
His condition upon arrival to the trauma center wasn’t immediately clear.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters of key steps to take when you climb and spend time in a tree stand. They include wearing a full-body safety harness (not a rope) anytime you hunt from an elevated stand, using a haul line to raise or lower your gear (rather than carrying equipment while climbing), maintaining three points of contact while climbing, and of course, ensuring you don’t fall asleep.
Just as you’d leave a “float plan” when you go boating alone, DNR says you should tell a dependable person where you’re hunting and when you plan to return. Leave a note at camp, at home or in your car so you can be found if something happens.
-Meg Walburn Viviano