A 70-year-old Oregon hunter was rescued after hanging upside down for two days at about 30 feet tall.
Eddie Voelker, of Prineville, Oregon, was hunting earlier this week in the remote, northeastern part of the state when he slipped off the platform of his tree and became entangled in his safety harness while hanging upside down.
Voelker remained conscious but could not free himself until a father-son hunter duo heard him scream for help and spent an hour and a half searching because they were not looking up.
The hunter is now in critical condition at a hospital in Richland, Washington, where he is in a drug-induced coma, Eastern Oregonian reported.
Eddie Voelker, 70, was hunting in a remote area when he slipped from a tree stand and got stuck hanging upside down 30 feet in the air for two days
Two days after Voelker was trapped in the tree, Steven and Joseph Royston of Stayton, Oregon, were hunting at close range and heard him scream for help.
"We did not run into him, he screamed," Steven Royston told the newspaper. We were hunting about a mile from your location and I heard someone scream. I knew we had to do something. "
Since Voelker's screams echoed in the forest, Royston and his son drove in their vehicle to cover more ground.
"My son honked his horn, and we knew we were getting closer to him (because) once he heard the horn, he started shouting louder and kept it up so we could find him," he said.
Voelker (pictured) was rescued but his heart stopped beating when he turned around on the right side
The hunters at first had problems because they looked at ground level, he said.
"He said: & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; I'm in the tree & # 39 ;, Royston recalled. & # 39; Holy smokes." He was about 30 feet above and tangled in the ropes of his stand He had his head down, (and he did not have) the way to get off, we knew we had to help him at that moment.
The Roystons handled approximately 8 miles to get cell phone reception and called 911.
On the way, they marked another car and told that person to sit down with Voelker.
They waited on the road and were able to take a rescue helicopter to Voelker, but the helicopter crew did not have the right equipment to shoot him down, Royston said.
Approximately 30 people from all the different local agencies arrived, but no one had equipment that was high enough to reach him.
Then, a paramedic from the La Grande Fire Department remembered seeing the training of the local electricity company with its bucket trucks to rescue the linemen who were injured at work. Rescuers called Oregon Trail Electric Co-Op and made the unusual request for help.
"I was not sure if they played ball," said captain Robert Tibbetts. "Not because they are not useful, but because it was such an unusual request." I was throwing the dice. "
Tibbetts said that being upside down for an extended period of time can lead to poor circulation and a multitude of potentially deadly problems for the body once it is upright. Actually, it was better that Voelker could not straighten up when there were no paramedics, he said, because it could have been much worse.
"We knew that the probability of cardiac arrest is extraordinarily high, we knew that we could not break into it and put it in the truck without first doing the treatment," Tibbetts said. "We were forced to slow down a little and deal with the medical side as we developed a plan for the actual rescue."
The US Forest Service UU He installed a string system to slowly lower Voelker into the bucket, and when they started doing that, and as he got more upright, his medical condition deteriorated rapidly. Voelker's heart stopped briefly, but the rescuers regained their pulse before lifting him into a helicopter.
Doctors did a procedure on Wednesday to relieve pressure on his brain. He was breathing only for a while, but the doctors put him back on a ventilator on Thursday.
Voelker's family returned to the site to take home their hunting dogs, which had stayed with him.
The accident occurred southwest of La Grande, which is about 260 miles east of Portland.