First responders educate hikers how to stay safe on the trails
July 20, 2019 10:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office rescue helicopter landed at the Elena Gallegos Open Space Saturday morning – but not for an emergency.
It was part of Hike Safe – a community event to educate hikers about how to stay safe in the wilderness.
"I hike a lot, and hike a lot alone," said hiker Jan Henfling.
Undersheriff Larry Koren came up with the idea for the event, which brings together different agencies like the Albuquerque Police Department, Albuquerque Fire Rescue and BCSO.
"On average we received a little over 50 search and rescue-related calls per year, and about half of those we end up actually guiding the personnel on the ground to the patient," Koren said. "About a quarter of those, we have to actually extract them and pull them off the mountain."
Experts said there are a couple of important things to always do before heading out on the trails.
"Common mistakes... not having enough water, not having extra clothing – especially for rain – a charged cell phone, knowing the area where you're going to go," said Anthony Martinez, an officer with APD's Open Space unit.
Martinez said simply being prepared could prevent the need to be rescued on the trails.
Updated: July 20, 2019 10:26 PM
Created: July 20, 2019 08:34 PM
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