Firefighters rescue ‘confused’ man from creek ravine

See why folks in the area are puzzled about how, and why, the fall occurred along Johnson Creek …

Firefighters begin to bring the fall victim up from Johnson Creek, just off SE 122nd Avenue, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood. Dick Harris, PF&R image

By David F. Ashton

It was an odd place for anyone to intentionally try to climb down the steep embankment of Johnson Creek – off of SE 122nd Avenue, a long twisting block south of SE Foster Road – across from the entrance to Leach Botanical Garden.

And, it’s not known if the man fell from the bridge that crosses Johnson Creek, or from the constricted path beside the narrow two-lane road, at about 5:30 p.m. on April 20 – that was when Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) was notified of the incident.

Crews take a sled-like gurney down the steep slope. Dick Harris, PF&R image

“The man ended up at the bottom of a steep ravine,” reported PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

Using ropes, firefighter/paramedics carefully rappelled down to the injured man to assess his condition. “He had no visible injuries, but was confused and couldn’t remember how he got into the ravine,” said Simmons

The patient nears the top of the ravine, thanks to the firefighters’ rescue system and training. Dick Harris, PF&R image

While crew members below strapped the patient to a “sled”-type gurney, firefighters up top set up a “low-angle rescue” rope rescue system, using a block-and-tackle to winch the sled and attending crew members up the steep slope.

“The patient was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation,” Simmons said, adding that the man’s identity is not being released.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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