On 07/8/15 at about 11:50 AM, deputies received a call of an injured subject in Rubicon Springs on the Rubicon Trail in a very remote part of El Dorado County. The injury was significant and the adult male patient needed immediate medevac.
Due to low clouds, thunderstorms, lightning, wind, and heavy downpours in the area, no helicopter could respond. The patient was stabilized as best as possible and the decision was made to drive him out. A Sheriff’s Office OHV Unit was on-duty and responded to Buck Island Lake to pick up the patient. The deputies loaded the patient into the EDSO Rubicon Jeep and started the long journey towards a main road where they could meet a waiting ambulance.
While transporting the patient, there was only room for one deputy and the injured male. The second deputy had to walk. The trail was extra dangerous due to the heavy rain and limited visibility. The Rubicon Trail is very rough, full of rocks large and small, with many challenging obstacles, narrow passageways, and near vertical terrain. It is accessible mostly by specialized and 4 wheel-drive vehicles that are heavily modified. It is not uncommon for vehicles to break down, to sustain damage (sometimes major), or become completely disabled. Driving the Rubicon Trail successfully takes training, practice, and expertise.
In just under 5 hours, the patient was extricated to a waiting medic unit at Wentworth Springs. Both deputies and the patient were exhausted after the trip but very happy they made it. As of today, the patient is reportedly in good condition.
Lt. Tom Murdoch