Members of the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department and the Erris Fire Department took a three-day course put on by Rescue Canada in 2019. During the weekend they learned how to do embankment rope rescue. (Review File Photo)

Members of the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department and the Erris Fire Department took a three-day course put on by Rescue Canada in 2019. During the weekend they learned how to do embankment rope rescue. (Review File Photo)

Keremeos Fire Department pull off steep angle riverside rescue

A senior on a scooter was travelling along the top of the dyke when he fell

The Keremeos Fire Department pulled off a steep angle rescue on Tuesday, after a senior on a scooter fell down the side of the dyke east of 11th Avenue.

He came to a stop eight feet down the side of the dyke, halfway to the Similkameen River. After the man came to a stop, he activated his emergency alert necklace which helped his son locate him. The senior’s son contacted the fire department who brought him back up.

“We had to package him into a special harness to hook up ropes and get him up the dyke,” said fire chief Jordy Bosccha.

The firefighters put together a pulley system to help them bring the senior citizen back up.

It was a precarious situation. If the senior slipped, he could end up falling further down the embankment and into the river, according to Bosscha.

“It’s on big sharp rocks, some of them are loose, and we had to secure the scene so we didn’t make him fall any further, and or any of our rescuers’ fall. You can’t just pack up a guy and walk back up.”

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It took the fire department over an hour to pull the senior back up to solid ground, due to the uncertain terrain.

If he hadn’t stopped where he had, it could have been a far different type of rescue.

“If he’d fallen any further, he would have been into the river,” said Bosscha. “Which would have been way worse.”

The senior was loaded into an ambulance after he was brought back to the top of the dyke. There were no serious injuries, although there was bruising visible from the fall.

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