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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
March 18, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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March 18, 2015

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2A Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Feather River Bulletin Plumas District Hospital emergency medical technician Eddy Mutch and paramedic Tommy Higgins work as a team for Plumas District Hospital. Several days earlier, they were part of an overnight rescue on Rock Creek. Photo by James Wilson a week .40- 4.5% of diabetics have Diabetic Retinopathy.. • In early stages there may be no signs. • Untreated, Diabetic Retinopathy causes blindness. • Timely treatment reduces risk of blindness by 90%. Fast Friend//Service! Carl NOW for your appointment: 832.6600 s James Wilson Eventually, though, the the break. The whole time, Staff Writer road stopped. The only route Mutch communicated with to the hiker involved Higgins and the Search and traversing boulders alongRescue team. They were on A call came in from one waterfall after another, their way. dispatch operators to the Meanwhile, the CaliforniaTwo Cal Fire employees, Plumas District Hospital Highway Patrol determinedtwo Search and Rescue emergency room the night of it was too risky to fly its volunteers and Higgins Feb. 28: A hiker had slipped helicopter with a 300-foot arrived on the scene with and possiSly broken his leg hoist into the overgrown extra supplies. Higgins about 4 miles up Rock Creek canyon at night. The patient immediately administered down the Feather River would have to wait for pain medicine to the patient. Canyon. daylight. Higgins wasn't able to adjust Paramedic Tommy Higgins "Once we got off the old the bone on site. If a piece of and emergency medical county road, it was just bone were to cut into an technician Eddy Mutch were boulders in front of us," said artery, it could make the on duty at the time. The two Higgins. "We knew we would situation life-threatening. packed into the ambulance have to stay the night. There Higgins continued to and headed to the scene for was no way we were going to evaluate the patient through what would become a 15-hour get him out of there until the night, ensuring he multiagency rescue morning." continued to have good operation. Higgins and Mutch, along capillary refill. PDH, Quincy Volunteer with one of the hiker's Mutch, Higgins and two Fire Department, Plumas friends, started crossing the Search and Rescue County Search and Rescue, slippery, boulders. Midway to volunteers remained with the theCalifornia Highway the hiker, Higgins had topatient for the entire night. Patrol, Cal Fire and Pacific stop. Each took turns being with Gas and Electric Co. all came "I didn't have enough the patient and gathering to the aid of an Oroville safety equipment to get wood for the fire. Finally, the resident whose fractured leg myself down safely," Higgins 10ng night was over. in a hostile environment set explained. "I had to wait for "At 6 a.m. daylight came off an overnight rescue. Search and Rescue for about out, and we were just An Oroville hiker, along an hour." waiting," said Mutch. "CHP with three of his friends, had Mutch and the hiker's arrived overhead and radioed set off for a hike along Rock friend continued. The twothey had to drop off some Creek earlier that day. A trail slowly and carefully climbed gear and would be back in 30 used to foilow the creek, but boulders along the creek for minutes." it was washed out one year about 45 minutes. The helicopter came back when the creek reached new ' Mutch finally saw the and started lowering the heights. With no trail, the hiker, lying on a rock just hoist. Just as everyone only way to follow the creek inches from the rushing thought the adventure was is over granite boulders, river, between a waterfall over, one large crash after Mutch described the route as and a rapid. The hiker'sanother reverberated nearby. dangerous, especially in broken leg wasn't pretty, As the CHP copter dropped winter. Mutch said. into the canyon, the rotor "It's beautiful, but this "It looked like a compound wash blew over multiple dead time of year it's usually fracture. His leg was at a trees all around the patient pretty slippery. It's pretty 45-degree angle right at the and respondents. steep and treacherous." break." "Snags started coming The hiker slipped on one of Immediately Mutch made adown around us," said the rocks, slid down a hill for head-to-toe assessment of the Higgins. "You could just hear 15 feet, then freefell for patient. He still had good crash, crash, crash!" another 15 before landing in capillary refill and color in All the trees that blear .over the creek. Upon impact, he his feet. At that point, Mutch missed the people on the fractured his leg right above and the patient's friends ground. The group of the ankle. One of his friends moved him away from the,rescuers was able to get the stayed behind with him, water to a flatter spot.patient into the hoist, tie was while the other two hiked out "I told him he needed to be lifted up, pulled into the and called for help from mentally tough tonight, helicopter and flown Pacific Gas and Electric's because we were going toimmediately to Enloe Rock Creek Powerhouse. have to stay the night,"Medical Center in Chico.. When Higgins and Mutch Mutch said. As the long rescue arrived, they met with the The patient was shivering, operation ended, Higgins, patient's two friends, along on the verge of becomingMutch and the two Search with two PG&E employees. A hypothermic. Mutch lit some and Rescue personnel made dirt road allowed the PDH adhesive tape he had from a their way out of the little employees to drive a little c-spine bag and started a fire canyon. Everyone was safe, closer to the hiker in need of on the rock. He then cut the . and some long shifts were medical attention, patient's wet pants around over. • Most passenger cars & light trucks, • Diesels extra but ask about our new lower prices on diesel oil changes. • Service includes up to 5 qts premium oil (plus Recycle Fee & Sales Tax) = 30 minutes or less .,. guaranteed! ฎ Chevron And, we'll inspect.: We feature Chevron lubricants • Air Filter • Tire Pressure . Wiper Blades • Windshield Washer Fluid • Alignment Wear . Cabin Filter • Transmission Fluid • CV Axle Boots • Brake Fluid • Power Steering Fluid • Shocks/Struts • Coolant Recovery • Differential Fluid • Serpentine Belt. Reservoir Fluid Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm • Saturday 8am - 5pm 116E. | Horton Tire Center