One rescued on Syncline Trail

Grand County emergency responders spent the better part of a hot Sunday evening trying to rescue a dehydrated hiker from the Syncline Loop Trail at Island in the Sky.

On July 15 at 7:46 p.m., Grand County Emergency Medical Services got a call about an individual suffering from heat-related injuries at Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park, according to a Facebook post by GCEMS. The patient was on the Syncline Trail, a remote area with no quick access for medical crews.

National Park rangers and GCEMs responded to the scene and launched Care Flight out of Colorado due to the patient’s condition. Care Flight flew to the scene, but canceled due to lack of a safe landing zone. Instead, NPS rangers and GCEMS spent a significant amount of time in the backcountry and managed to get the patient to the trailhead, where a Classic Air Medical helicopter was able to land. The patient was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction in serious condition, the Facebook post said. The whole operation took just over 8.5 hours. It was EMS’s fourth Upheaval Dome call of the year, according to EMS Director Andy Smith.

“People misunderstand how hard [the trail] is … in the heat,” Smith told The Times-Independent.

In other EMS news, Director of Education Will Barnhardt has been working on updating and advancing the agency’s clinical operating guidelines to offer more advanced medical treatments in the field. He presented the guidelines to Medical Director Dr. Doug Murdock and representatives from the Moab Regional Hospital, who passed the guidelines.

As a result, the EMS district will spend the next 12 months training and implementing multiple new medications and guidelines.

“The new guidelines update our prolonged field care, trauma management, early administration of IV antibiotics, more advanced cardiac medications and hemorrhage control. This has been a great deal of work by assistant director Barnhardt and will be a great benefit to our patients,” EMS said in a Facebook post.