ST. GEORGE — Rescue crews were called to a remote area of northeastern Iron County after a hiker sustained serious injuries Friday evening.
According to a press release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, 51-year-old Brian Cummins called emergency responders after he fell about 200 feet while hiking at a steep incline near Little Creek Peak.
Officials said they were concerned about pre-existing medical conditions Cummins suffers from and how any potential injuries and exposure to the natural elements might affect those conditions.
First responders arrived at Little Creek Peak at 11:40 p.m. and deployed K-9 Carlo to help navigate the four-mile hike to Cummins’ location.
Crews found Cummins “in poor health” and immediately began to treat the hiker for head, back and ankle injuries.
Cedar Communications called Utah Highway Patrol for assistance, requesting to use a Department of Public Safety helicopter with hoist capabilities to remove the hiker from his remote location into an awaiting ambulance.
After he was retrieved by the helicopter, crews transported Cummins to Cedar City Hospital in serious condition via ambulance.
First responders left the scene at around 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said the multiple agencies called to the scene worked together in an efficient manner, which made for a successful rescue.
After investigating the incident, officials discovered that Cummins was hiking down a steep hillside when a rock gave way under his foot, causing him to fall forward and roll about 200 feet. Cummins crawled back to the top of hill in order to get cellphone service to call first responders.
Cummins did the right thing by recognizing that he needed assistance and finding a way to contact emergency responders, Schlosser said.
“He knew that he didn’t have service and he needed to get somewhere, so he did what it took to get where he needed to be,” he said.
Schlosser said it is also important for hikers to be aware of temperature changes throughout the day and be prepared for colder weather conditions.
Cummins has since been released from the hospital.
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