June 29, 2016

Firefighters Rescue Four Hikers Stranded at Ithaca Falls

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Ithaca firefighters rescued four people who were trapped on a rock ledge at Ithaca Falls on Wednesday afternoon.

All four people were counselors from the Frenchwoods of the Performing Arts Camp in Hancock NY, and were visiting to hike area trails, according to an Ithaca Fire Department press release.

One of the four counselors left the observation area and found herself stuck on a ledge, hanging on to a tree branch. When the other three came to help her, they too found themselves stranded, according to the release.

Firefighters used a rope system with safety lines to rescue each hiker with a harness, the release said. Although no one was injured, the four were issued tickets for illegal rock climbing.

This rescue comes a day after Ithaca emergency responders assisted a woman who had broken her ankle by “First Dam,” near Giles Street, after jumping off a ledge into shallow water.

Officials reminded all residents and visitors to be cautious and remain aware near the gorges in the Ithaca area, highlighting the danger rescue missions can pose to both civilians and teams executing extractions.

“Our gorges are beautiful, but can be deadly,” the release read. “These incidents are not only dangerous to the victims, but put the rescuers at risk and require many resources and personnel.”

Ithaca Firefighters were assisted by Ithaca Police, Bangs Ambulance and Cornell First Responders in Wednesday’s rescue, which took about two hours, the release said.