MSR: In the Right Place at the Right Time

Posted by on Jul 6th, 2012 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


On Friday, Montrose Search and Rescue team members had just finished going over a map, organizing their continued search for lost hiker Ertug Ergun whose vehicle was discovered in the Stonyvale Picnic Area in Angeles National Forest. The search had been in progress for a week, with negative results. Los Angeles Search Dogs had joined MSR. The members split into two teams; one team went to the Mt. Luken’s area to hike down and the other team of Mike Leum, Janet Henderson and search dogs’ handler Michael Kaae began walking the creek that runs near Stonyvale.

They had just left the picnic area when Leum’s voice came over the radio, “Baby, face down in the water … was unconscious when we arrived,” Leum said. “Walking her out.”

The team was walking in the creek when Henderson saw the child.

“Somebody better get that little girl,” she said.

The mother had just turned around to see the child face down in the water. She lifted the child and handed her over to Leum.

Later it was discovered that a family member was apparently watching two children, the 18-month old and a toddler. The toddler ran off and the family member went after the child. In those few moments the little girl had fallen into the creek.

Leum performed emergency medical aid then turned the child over to Henderson, an emergency room nurse, who evaluated the situation and insisted the girl be transported to the hospital.

With the mother now carrying the child, they were walked out to a waiting MSR vehicle. Leum and Henderson drove the child to a nearby helipad where U.S. Forest Service responded, Los Angeles County Fire Department’s paramedics and helicopter responded. The child was transported to a local hospital.

Stonyvale is a remote picnic area. Considering that there is little to no cellphone reception in the area, it was fortuitous that Leum and Henderson, who are both medically trained, were on scene at that time, in that location.

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