After an 11-year-old boy was rescued from Bridal Falls over the weekend, fire chief with the Popkum Fire Department is urging people to be careful when hiking to the falls.
Walter Roos said 10 members of his 20-member fire department responded to a call Saturday around 4 p.m. to help the ambulance service get the boy from the bottom of the falls to a waiting ambulance. Also on scene were the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue team, the RCMP and the BC Emergency Health Services – an estimated 25 people responding.
The boy reportedly tripped and fell backwards at the falls, about 25 to 30 feet down an embankment. He suffered a head injury but was alert, according to the crews on scene Saturday.
The fire department has specialized equipment for this very task, as they receive around three calls per year for rescues at the provincial park just off of Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Hope.
This time it was a straightforward response, Roos said, involving getting the patient ready for transfer, putting them onto a stretcher with wheels on the bottom, and ferrying them down to the bottom of the hiking trail. All-in-all it took around 45 minutes he said, as the boy was located at the lookout point of the falls.
The boy was stable when he was put into an ambulance, Roos said. Spokesperson with the RCMP in the upper Fraser Valley Cpl. Mike Rail said the boy was taken, with cuts and bruises, to hospital for precautionary measures.
Some rescues are significantly harder Roos said, involving local search and rescue teams performing rope rescues.
Follow signs, fire chief urges hikers
Roos said despite the falls being a relatively easy hike, it is very important to be prepared and adhere to the signage posted. This includes a warning sign at a lookout point below the falls, informing people not to proceed past the sign.
“Bridal Falls is gorgeous, but it’s gnarly. It’s always wet of course because of the spray,” he said, adding sometimes people hike with the wrong footwear. “They climb in flip flops, sandals, they do some rock climbing there with that on. There’s a fair amount of injuries because of that.”
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