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Emergency device helps alert rescue team of fall victim in remote area near Moab

Posted at 9:35 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 23:35:44-05

GRAND COUNTY, Utah — An emergency device alerted rescue crews of a woman who fell nearly 30 feet at Corona Arch in Moab.

"A man and his family came running up to us and asked if we had cell service, and we said no because nobody else in that area did either," said Chris Brosky, who was hiking near Corona Arch with his wife.

The pair was just completing an 'Arch-A-Palooza' they had planned, involving 10 arches in just over two days.

A woman had fallen roughly 30 feet near the back side of the Corona Arch. According to Grand County Search and Rescue, the hiker was trying to jump across a crack in the sandstone near the arch but slipped and fell.

With no cell reception, Chris deployed a personal locator beacon (PLB) that he carries with him on his hiking pack.

"This just needs an open window to the sky," he said when demonstrating the device. "When you are in an emergency situation and you have no other way to call for help, this is definitely your go-to device right here."

Chris' locator beacon was given to him as a gift from his brother. He'd had it for about a year and a half and it was the first time he had to deploy it.

"I had always questioned whether it would work or not, and it works!" Chris said about the beacon.

He says that Grand County Search and Rescue told him that the signal was pinged and became active in about 15 minutes. It took roughly an hour for first responders to arrive by helicopter and shortly after by foot. The Classic Air Medical helicopter based out of Moab arrived on scene. Grand County EMS started tending to the patient who suffered lacerations to her head. Grand County Search and Rescue trekked in a 'litter' to help transport the patient from the fall location to the helicopter.

"It's such a comforting sound to know that help is on the way," Chris said in admiration of those answering the call. "Knowing that these people (rescuers) are dedicated and they will be there no matter where you are."

The fall victim is expected to recover from her injuries sustained. The rescue response was Grand County Search and Rescue's first call of the 2020 season. In 2019 they responded to more than 130 rescue calls.

"It was nice to be able to help someone else out who was in need, and I just hope that if I'm ever in that situation, somebody else would be there for me as well."