ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Rescue Squad’s first rescue of the year at Twisting Falls turned out to be an easy one, authories said.
Usually when a swimmer or diver is injured at the 30-foot falls in a steep gorge on the Elk River, it takes six hours to extract the patient, using sophisticated rope-and-pulley systems. On Tuesday, the rescuers found the victim already out of the gorge and headed home.
“They were driving out and we had to block their Jeep,” CCRS Rescue Coordinator Keith Ellis said. “We checked her and found she was injured a lot worse than she thought ... she had obviously fallen from pretty high up.”
They found the woman had lacerations to her head and deep cuts to a leg and other injuries. While they examined her, Ellis said she vomited blood. There were no obvious signs of broken bones but X-rays were needed to be sure.
The woman was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center emergency room for examination and treatment.
Ellis said Tuesday’s rescue was the first at Twisting Falls this year, but that is what he expected.
“A lot of people think the injuries on Twisting Falls happen all summer. Actually, this is when the injuries happen,” Ellis said. The injuries coincide with the time when many colleges in the area start their new year.
It was exactly a year ago this week when a Johnson City woman suffered a broken back and other injuries on the falls. Ellis said he has kept in touch with her and said she still has a long road to recovery.