Seatbelts likely prevented more serious injuries in two accidents over the weekend while individuals were recreating in the north end of Sanpete County.
Just after noon on Saturday, June 18, the North Sanpete Ambulance Service responded to a report of an ATV rollover in the Skyline Mountain Resort area.
According to Tracy Braithwaite, North Sanpete Ambulance Service public information officer, a side-by-side had rolled down a steep embankment, trapping multiple victims inside.
The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, Sanpete Search and Rescue, and University of Utah AirMed responded to the scene.
The location was isolated, which required crews to hike to reach the victims. The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was also called in case a hoist rescue was required.
Mt. Pleasant firefighters cut the top off the vehicle to facilitate removing victims from the vehicle. In the end, rescuers were able to carry the victims down the hillside.
One adult victim was taken by AirMed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (UVRMC) in Provo. Three children were transported by ambulance to Sanpete Valley Hospital, but two of them were later transported to Primary Children’s Hospital for further care.
Then on Sunday morning about 6:30 a.m. the ambulance service responded to a report that a pickup truck had gone off the side of S.R. 31 about halfway up Fairview Canyon.
The vehicle was located about 50 yards from the road. Once again, Sanpete Search and Rescue and AirMed, and this time the Fairview Fire Department, and responded to location.
Crews hiked down to the vehicle and initiated care. Once again, firefighters cut off the roof of the vehicle. The victim was removed from the pickup, carried up to the road where the AirMed helicopter had landed and transported to UVRMC.
Braithwaite said in both accidents, everyone was wearing seatbelts, which almost certainly saved the victims from more serious injuries or death.
“Helmets were not used in the side-by-side accident and could have prevented injuries if they had been used,” he said.
Both incidents demonstrated the dedication of emergency responders and their commitment to the community service, Braithwaite said. Coordination between multiple agencies was crucial to rescuing the victims in a timely and efficient manner.
He noted that ambulance service providers, including paramedics, advanced EMTs and EMTs, are trained to provide advanced life support care and transport to the hospital. Firefighters are trained to extricate victims. Search and Rescue volunteers are trained and have specialized equipment to get victims out of hard-to-reach areas.
“Without each specialty, rescue of these victims and others would not be possible,” Braithwaite said.