Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on March 19, 2024
Los Angeles Fire Department Conducts Dramatic Aerial Rescue in Tujunga; iPhone SOS Feature Saves Injured Hiker in Angeles National ForestSource: Facebook/Los Angeles Fire Department

In a nerve-wracking incident high above Tujunga's rugged terrain, the Los Angeles Fire Department's Air Operations sprang into action on March 18 to rescue a 29-year-old woman with a lower leg injury, as reported by the LAFD. Deemed inaccessible by ground units, the rescue unfolded in remote wilderness, necessitating an airborne hoist to deliver the distressed hiker to safety and subsequent hospital care.

Meanwhile, a technological marvel, Apple's iPhone SOS feature, became a lifeline for a family hiking at Switzer Falls in the Angeles National Forest, converging digital prowess with the timeworn valor of search and rescue teams, according to a narrative from KABC. A father, shouldering his family’s canine companion amidst the idyllic trails, suffered a grievous ankle injury, which his wife, promptly harnessing the SOS feature, used to summon rescuers who raced against time and cold to help the family, proving once again that human ingenuity and resilience are ever-present even as nature reminds of our fragilities and finitudes.

"Two of us went running down the trail, got to where dad was, a firefighter was there also and we treated dad for his ankle injury," recounted Mike Leum of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Reserve in a statement obtained by KABC. The detailed account revealed a critical aspect of the rescue – the ankle was so "seriously deformed" that the injury was likely a severe dislocation or break, rendering the father immobile and dependent on the swift efforts of his rescuers to be extracted from the forest's unforgiving grasp.

Technology's hand in the ordeal was further emphasized by Steve Goldsworthy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue, who elucidated the importance of the iPhone's SOS feature: "If you don't have cellular service, it will ask you if you want to place an SOS call via satellite," he explained, "you say yes, answer a couple of questions, and instantly, a text message is sent directly to the responsible agent anywhere in the United States" his words underscore the value of integrating modern technology with emergency response, reinforced by the testament that such features can substantially reduce rescue times and potentially save lives in trauma situations where every second counts.