An injured hiker rescued off the Hu'umula (Maunakea Summit) Trail above Halepōhaku (Maunakea Visitor Center) Monday afternoon (December 28th).
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Hilo and Holualoa) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the U.S. Army Fire Department at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) and Maunakea Rangers responded to a report of an injured hiker on the Hu'umula (Maunakea Summit) Trail on Monday afternoon (December 28th).
The initial call came in at 2:33 pm Monday afternoon and HFD crews from the Haihai, Waiākea (Rescue Company 2), and Kaumana Fire Stations along with PTA Fire Crews, Chopper 2, Battalion 1, and Maunakea Rangers responded to the scene located approximately 2 miles above Halepōhaku Visitor Center (about 1 mile below Lake Waiau) on the Hu'umula Trail.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, reports came from bystanders and the Maunakea Rangers for a report of a hiker (described as a female in her 50s) who suffered two sprained knee injuries on the Hu'umula Trail and unable to get back down on her own. Bystanders on the trail, provided basic medical aid until emergency crews arrived at the scene. They also made attempts to help her down the trail, however, were unsuccessful.
Once emergency crews arrived in the area, Maunakea Rangers along with HFD and PTA Fire Crews hiked in on foot to reach the patient's location on the Hu'umula Trail. Once at the patient's location, they took over medical care of the patient (the patient was in good condition at the time of their arrival) and packaged the female patient on backboard and rescue litter for extrication on foot.
Due to the 13,000-foot elevation and difficult/dangerous terrain on the Hu'umula Trail, it took numerous resources involving the Maunakea Rangers, HFD, and PTA Crews to extricate the patient safely down to Halepōhaku Visitor Center.
While extrication efforts were underway, Maunakea Rangers closed Maunakea Access Road to all traffic allow crews to safely complete all rescue operations.