First responders work for 10 hours to rescue hiker from remote location

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It took nearly 35 first responders to help a man with a broken ankle on Spaulding Mountain reach safety Wednesday evening. (Photo courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)

MOUNT ABRAM TWP – Roughly 35 emergency responders assisted with rescuing a hiker on Spaulding Mountain Wednesday night. Maine Game Wardens along with fire departments from Carrabassett Valley, Strong, Eustis, Kingfield, Salem and Phillips were among those that responded. Employees of Sugarloaf Mountain also assisted with carrying the injured hiker from the top of the mountain to the summit of Sugarloaf at which point he was transported down by vehicle.

Richard Sullivan was hiking the Appalachian Trail with his son Daniel Sullivan when he slipped and fell, breaking his right ankle. The 65-year-old of Archdale, NC was unable to walk and called 911 around 1 p.m.

Because of the isolated location of the trail, access was difficult. Responders had to travel to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain by vehicle and then proceed to hike roughly 3.5 miles to reach Sullivan. Rainy weather made trail conditions less than ideal. First responders reached Sullivan around 5 p.m. and it took nearly six hours to transport him back to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Sullivan was then transported by NorthStar Ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

“Without the assistance from all of the first responders and volunteers, getting Mr. Sullivan off of the trail would have taken much longer. Trail conditions were wet, rocky and steep. It was a great coordinated effort by all involved to get rescuers to the top of Sugarloaf and carrying Mr. Sullivan off the mountain. We have a great group of people in Franklin County to make rescue operations like this one run smooth,” Maine Game Warden Sergeant Scott Thrasher said.

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