WRIGHTWOOD – A 50-year-old hiker was stranded in Heath Canyon in the Wrightwood area overnight before he was able to get reception to call 911 on Tuesday, July 4th. Matthew Paulson, of Carpinteria, said that he was hiking on the evening of Monday, July 3rd when he fell around 500 feet down steep terrain while hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail south of the town of Wrightwood. The area became dark and Paulson was unable to get reception to call 911, so he decided to spend the night in a bush on the side of the mountain.
The following morning, Paulson was able to move a short distance up the mountainside where he was able to get reception to call for help. The Sheriff’s helicopter, 40King3 responded to the area to locate Paulson, who was found hanging onto a small bush at the 7800-foot level. The area where he was found has nearly vertical walls that peak about 2500 feet from the valley floor. These walls are covered with large trees, some being around 100 feet tall. Also, the area has areas of loose shale and gravel. The crew of 40King3 called in Air Rescue 306 to perform the hoist rescue.
Air Rescue 306 responded and lowered Eric Sherwin, a Firefighter/Paramedic down around 135 feet to Paulson. Sherwin, while remaining attached to the cable, placed Paulson into a rescue harness so the two could be hoisted into the helicopter. Paulson was transported by air around 2 miles to an ambulance which transported him to the hospital for the treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
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- Air Rescue 306: San Bernardino County Fire Department