Tuesday, September 20, 2011
FALLS CITY -- Polk County firefighters performed a dramatic rescue of a young woman who slipped and fell into the falls on the Little Luckiamute River in Falls City on Sunday, Sept. 11.
At about 5 p.m. emergency workers were called to the scene after the woman slipped on the south side of the falls, landed in a seated position on a rock ledge and then tumbled into the water about 50 feet from the falls.
Falls City Fire Chief Bob Young said an off-duty Falls City firefighter, K.C. Wagner, dived into the water to help the young woman until rescuers could arrive. After the fall, she said she couldn't feel her legs.
"He was holding her head out of the water so she could breathe," said Dallas Fire Inspector Sean Condon, who was part of the rescue team. "He did exactly what he needed to do."
Firefighters didn't know the name or residence of the young woman.
Rescue crews from Dallas, Fall City and Polk Fire No. 1, totaling about 20 emergency responders, were part of the rescue effort.
To retrieve the woman from the water, rescuers had to string lines from one side of the falls to the other and lower a basket to the firefighters in the water. They were able to place the woman on a backboard and into the rescue basket, which was pulled to shore.
There, a helicopter was waiting to fly her to a Portland-area hospital. Neither Condon or Young were aware of her condition Tuesday morning.
Wagner, who was in the approximately 60-degree water the duration of the rescue, was taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia and released shortly after, Young said.