The Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 2:45 p.m. indicating that someone on the way to Eagle Mountain had a medical emergency. Emergency responders arrived at the trailhead, north of Devil Track Lake, around 3:30 p.m.
A group of about half a dozen entered first. The patient was more than 3 km from the track. Beth Ambrosen was behind the first group, bringing food, water, and more lights.
“I didn’t know of any weather reports,” she said. “It was a surprise when we were on the track.”
They were informed that there were severe thunderstorms moving through the area with threats of high winds, hail, lightning and even tornadoes.
“The mere threat of this activity made us slouch when it got too bad,” Ambrosen said.
She took refuge under a small tree from the hail the size of a golf ball.
“The number 1 of our training is to stay safe,” she said. “So that was a bit of a dilemma. You know, you have to stop so you don’t hurt yourself. But you have someone relying on you to get them to the ambulance. So time was a factor.”
Eventually, the rescue team and the patient were out of the woods by 7:30 pm An ambulance took the rescued person to St. Luke’s. None of the responders was injured, just wet.
“We were all soaked from head to toe,” Ambrosen said. “I can’t say enough for the guys who did the heavy lifting. It was about 2.5 miles of rocky terrain so they deserved my kudos. They don’t get enough praise for what they did. make.”
Cook County Search and Rescue is all voluntary. Donations can go to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and they always appreciate a simple thank you or the offer to cook a meal or help in some other way.
And Ambrosen hopes this situation has been a reminder for those who like to hit the woods, especially during the transition seasons.
“I can’t say enough for the people who go into the woods: be prepared. Always have water, always have food. Have materials for these weather changes. You never know what’s going to happen. “she said. “Be a Boy Scout. Prepare for the worst.”