Scottsdale first responders help several overheated hikers by land and air over the weekend

Arizona's hot weather has come down a bit, but hikers being overcome by the heat is still a big issue and it's important to remember just what the heat can do to you.

Three times on Sept. 17 in Scottsdale hikers needed the help of first responders, even getting some assistance from above.

"This is something that we train for, and we do well," said Scottsdale Fire Capt. Dave Folio.

The first rescue was on the Ringtail trailhead off 128th street. That call was from a 60-year-old woman around 9:25 a.m. who reported feeling nauseous on the trail.

"She had run out of water and was starting to feel heat exhaustion, so she dialed 911. The issue was she was three miles in on the trail so for us to put people on the trail that's a task for us, that's a high task, low-frequency type of event," Folio said.

So, they used a drone to locate her.

"Find the trail she was on, locate the shirt she was wearing and coordinate with rescue teams that went in, and they were able to watch our rescue teams, treat the patient and remove the patient from the scene using a UTV," Folio said.

The drones are especially helpful during these types of calls, he says. They can be used not only to survey the area but also to bring water and talk to the patient.

"Just different tools in the toolbox for what we use. We have all those in our toolbox so the one we flew today was a DJI Mavic 2 and we flew this one out three-something miles today," Folio said.

The second heat call of the day came in an hour later.

Then at 11:50 a.m. came their third, and most serious heat call of the day, on the Lost Dog trailhead. It was for a 59-year-old man experiencing symptoms of heat stroke, so they used a helicopter to rescue him.

"He was actually vomiting, losing consciousness in and out, so doing that operation allows us to put a medic in there with advanced life support them, start treating then fly him from the helicopter where he is transported," he said.

Folio explains that at this time of year, people often get a false sense of security because the days usually aren't quite as hot compared to the peak summer months.

Regardless, Folio says it's important to always come prepared.

"Hydrate the day before, when you get halfway on that water, turn back to the trailhead, have a charged cellphone, if you get in an emergency dial 911, and we can ping your cell phone too if it is charged," he said.

Another thing first responders recommend is hiking with someone else and to not get fooled by those 90-degree temperatures in the morning as it can still get very hot on the trails.

On Sept. 5, a young Phoenix doctor died while on a hike with a few others when he was overcome by heat stroke in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Fire Department says the hiker who succumbed to heat exhaustion was 32-year-old Dr. Evan Dishion, a neurology resident at Barrow Neurological Institute.

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