Sahtlam volunteer firefighters had to go off-road on Monday afternoon to rescue an ATV rider following a crash.
The rescue team initially went in from the end of Sahtlam Road, as the rider reported he was close to that spot, but then found the site was actually closer to Highway 18, and moved him there to be taken away by ambulance to the Cowichan District Hospital.
The rider was put on a stretcher and loaded into a firefighter’s pickup truck, because the ambulance was unable to navigate the terrain and reach the crash site itself.
“It sounded like he had a broken ankle,” said Sahtlam fire chief Randy Busch, who arrived on the scene late in the rescue. “He had other pre-existing injuries, but I don’t know if they were aggravated or not.”
North Cowichan’s South End fire hall was summoned for assistance with their “big wheel” stretcher, but it didn’t end up being used.
Busch said his firehall gets “two or three” calls each year to rescue ATV riders.
“It’s more of a groan because you have to hike all the way in to where the person is and find them first, then get them out,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of a problem, but that’s what we do.”