The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Guardian Medical Transport, and Ponderosa Fire District responded to an injured hiker in the Lava River Cave on July 9, 2018 at approximately 2:00 p.m.
The male hiker, age 44, from Cordes Lakes, AZ suffered an ankle injury near the end of the cave and was unable to walk out on his own. Ponderosa Fire and Guardian Medical personnel hiked in to initiate patient care while Search and Rescue carried a litter and responded with additional personnel to transport the hiker out of the cave.
Twenty-three rescue personnel from the three agencies were involved in the operation.
The terrain in the cave as well as the darkness made for a challenging rescue. After an approximately three-and-a-half-hour rescue operation, rescuers were able to get the hiker out at 5:52 p.m. The hiker was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of an ankle injury.