Injured SLO hiker rescued from Bishop Peak

August 16, 2013

0817chopperSeveral emergency response agencies combined to rescue a hiker who broke his leg Thursday night after falling off a steep section of a Bishop Peak trail.

Around 9:25 p.m. Thursday, a 19-year-old man fractured his lower leg on the Foothill Blvd. side of Bishop Peak.

Cal Fire, the San Luis Obispo Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol, the San Luis Obispo county Fire Urban Search and Rescue Team and San Luis Ambulance responded to rescue the hiker. A CHP helicopter provided lighting for the operation, which lasted 2.5 hours.

Firefighters and paramedics hiked up to the injured man and placed him in a stokes basket to lower him down the mountain. The ambulance then transported the hiker to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

No emergency responders suffered injuries during the rescue.

The San Luis Obispo Fire Department says the Bishop Peak Open Space closes at dusk and hikers should stay on designated trails.


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Everyone pays for these services through taxes, so charging someone for getting into a tight spot and getting hurt seems too much. Had they jumped a fence and been trespassing on publicly owned land, like with Morro Rock, they would be cited and liable for the rescue costs. But the kid could always say he was trying to get down before dark and fell, so trying to collect for the rescue might be a hard sell.

The helo and all the other resources brought into this, were the choice of the fire department and dictated for under mutual aid/rescue plans specifically for Bishop’s Peak. AND the helo was brought in for the rescuers to be able to see in the dark, not to transport the patient.

A fellow I used to work with, who is a giant in size and girth, probably weighs 350+ pounds and is 6-5, once took a tumble walking the trail down Mt. San Luis and broke his ankle. It took a bunch of pretty strong firefighters to carry his big ass down the mountain. It was broad daylight and just part of the job firefighters swear to do when they pin on the badge.

Lots of people sometimes do stupid things and accidents do happen and people get hurt. While it’s OK to make fun of them, don’t try to say they should be charged extra.

Next time it might be you in that situation.

Since the trails close at dusk he should be charged for every penny of his ignorance. He put the rescuers at risk at 9:30 PM. Some people are just born stupid and selfish and nothing will help them in life!

Seems to me that you are coming from a perspective of selfishness as well. A great many people hike Bishop’s Peak at night… it is one of the most beautiful views you will ever see in this area, and if you go your whole life without seeing it because you obeyed every sign you saw, you will miss out. I would rather cut back city and county salaries, and provide services that benefit the community even when someone is a bit foolish.

As a resident on Bishop’s and as someone who has to get up at 4am for work I definitely don’t appreciate being woken up to the sounds of helicopters and search lights running through our yard because people can’t follow the rules.

What’s worse is those who treat the privilege of this trail as their own personal amusement park and bang on our doors and those of our neighbors at all hours asking to use the bathroom, the phone, or water. We owned these properties long before the city opened the official trailhead, and now we’re forcibly subjected to the never-ending stream of people who can’t seem to respect the fact that they’re in someone else’s back yard.

People really do that? That’s pretty pathetic. I have hiked Bishop’s peak since long before there was an official trail. I pick up garbage along the way. I don’t scream or make loud noises, nor knock on anyone’s door. I do, however, occasionally hike at night. Since it is public property, I consider it my right to enjoy it. It seems to me that we need to deal with the actual problems by posting a handy guide to respecting others at the trailhead and having deputized volunteers hand out tickets for littering, disturbing the peace, etc., rather than to limit the access of people who are conscientious. As usual, this society prefers to just make new rules rather than deal with idiots who don’t follow common sense.

Since you (and obviously others) want to play b your own rules then maybe the City should also establish rules that 1) you can pay for your rescue or 2) wait until it is safe to rescue. Do you h any idea what the taxpayers paid for it. You may be a responsible person but considering most people are not they should be cited and be made to pay for their rescue and then I would have no problem what or when you do what you want to do.

I was born on Foothill Blvd, before there was a Ferrini Heights (matter of fact the Ferrini Family gazed cattle all of the area). I too have been up there and SL Mountain and it is awesome. But respect for others and abiding by the laws and rules is the right thing to do.