Rescue Teams Assist Man Who Fell Off Cliff

Sweet Home Fire & Ambulance District, along with Lane and Linn County Search and Rescue teams, conducts a technical rescue operation using rope systems to save an elderly man who fell 40 feet at Sahalie Falls on June 5. Photos provided by SHFAD

Sweet Home Fire & Ambulance District was dispatched to a report of a technical rescue at Sahalie Falls at 10:32 a.m. on June 5. It was reported that an elderly male had fallen approximately 40 feet over a cliff near the base of the falls.

SHFAD responded with one medic unit and a rescue vehicle, and made the one hour drive east to make contact with the patient. Once on scene, medics encountered the patient near the base of the falls with bystanders rendering aid. The patient sustained non-life threatening injuries, but was extremely cold and unable to walk due to being so close to the falls.

Lane and Linn County Search and Rescue teams arrived shortly after SHFAD units, and facilitated rescue operations. The lengthy rescue involved rope systems to raise the patient up the face of a cliff to the trail where he was, then carried back down to the parking lot approximately a half-mile away.

The decision was made during the rescue operation to utilize air ambulance via Life Flight to transport the patient to Riverbend Hospital due to his condition. Due to the remote area, the landing zone was established on Highway 126, closing down the highway temporarily.