LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It’s a beautiful place to hike, but with uneven terrain, broken glass and loose rocks and boulders, it can also be dangerous. Captain Frank Devine said the fire department faced some challenges when they had to rescue a 22-year-old woman who fell from Grandad Bluff.
“We had a few boulders you know bigger than a basketball that rolled down and hit the rescuers in the legs as they were trying to carry the patient out,” said Devine.
The fire department was called around 7:30 Wednesday morning about the La Crosse woman. They believe she fell 40 to 45 feet.
If you go hiking, Devine said it’s a good idea not to go by yourself. He also said to stay out of restricted areas, and take a cell phone with you. Devine said cell phones have helped during the last few rope rescues on the bluff.
“By using a cell phone we can ask them questions to help them direct us to their location, because we’re more familiar with the area than most of them are,” said Devine.
The woman was cited for going into a restricted area. La Crosse City Council member Doug Happel said he doesn’t think the city needs to make any changes to prevent people from going in areas of the bluffs where they aren’t supposed to.
“We have the policies and the ordinances with respect to where people are not supposed to go on the bluffs, what we need are people to use their common sense, and not go in the dangerous areas,” said Happel.
And some who live on Grandad Bluff said people who go in restricted areas are putting rescuers at risk.
“Those people put their lives in danger when they’re out there on the face of the bluffs rescuing these victims,” said Nick Nicks.
The fire department said they don’t know the extent of the woman’s internal injuries, but say she’s expected to recover. The fire department trains monthly for bluff rescues.