Emergency crews responded to three calls in two days this week to help hikers along the Cedar Creek trail that leads to Cedar Creek Falls in the Cleveland National Forest east of Ramona. One of the rescued hikers was a dehydrated asthmatic patient, reported CalFire.
In an effort to reinforce the potential life-threatening hazards that unprepared hikers to Cedar Creek Falls face in the heat, Ramona’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), with CalFire and U.S. Forest Service representatives, will hand out water and monitor hikers along the end of Ramona Oaks Road and the trailhead off Thornbush Road in the San Diego Country Estates development in Ramona on Saturday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CalFire, U.S. Forest Service, the sheriff’s department and other emergency crews repeatedly rescue hikers along the Cedar Creek trail and at the falls. The most recent rescues were:
• On Wednesday, July 14, rescuers, including two emergency helicopters, assisted an 18-year-old woman about one-half mile down the trail about 2:10 p.m., CalFire Capt. Bert Ramirez with the Ramona Fire Department reported. The woman was able to hike out and did not require hospitalization.
• On Thursday, emergency crews and an ASTREA helicopter responded to assist a male hiker in his 50s about 11:40 a.m. Rescuers accompanied the man about one-quarter mile to the top of the hill, where he declined additional treatment, Ramirez reported.
• About 12:30 p.m. the same day, ASTREA 1 helicopter airlifted an 18-year-old dehydrated female needing assistance about one mile down the trail. The hiker was an asthmatic patient experiencing shortness of breath and was brought to a Ramona Fire Department ambulance, where she was treated before being released.
Battalion Chief Saul Villagomez with the Ramona Fire Department said rescuers assist hikers by giving them fluids and, if necessary, getting fluids into them intravenously. Emergency workers administer cold packs to bring the patient’s core temperature down and also get patients to an air-conditioned ambulance or fire engine, he said. Patients requiring additional medical attention are transported to an area hospital.