Protocol for finding missing hikers

Local - 1/26/2013 6:03 PM by Rebecca Turco
ITMANN - After a man was lost in the woods of Wyoming County for hours on Thursday, firefighters explained to WOAY how they go about finding missing hikers.

Safety Officer William Cox of the Mullens Fire Department said the fire department and other authorities are toned out after the missing person calls 911. The authorities set up a command post and spread out to search within their designated areas.

Most firemen in Mullens are trained in woodland rescue and ATV rescue. The helicopter operators can arrive quickly because protocol requires firefighters to know the coordinates of anywhere a helicopter can land in the county.

Medical equipment is located in the ATV  to treat the person en route to the medical authorities. Most missing hikers are injured badly and need to be airlifted out to the hospital, according to Officer Cox.

He said to stay safe, hikers should follow the designated trails and check the weather before leaving.

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