Louisiana man survives 50-foot fall off Arkansas bluff
LONE ROCK, Ark. - A Louisiana volunteer firefighter on a camping trip with some friends says he didn't think twice about helping one of his buddies that fell nearly 50 feet off a bluff Friday.
"Average person, that might have killed them," said Galvez Lake Volunteer Firefighter Aaron Kowal.
Kowal had just started setting up camp when his friend, who's full name has not been released, went looking out over the bluffs at Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.
Kowal said he heard some rocks fall and his friend scream. His first reaction was to climb down to help his friend.
"I just kind of went," said Kowal. "With our training you're just kind of ready for anything. Glad I was."
Kowal fought through some tough terrain to find his friend who was hurt pretty bad. He used his medical training to stabilize the 23-year-old man until more help arrived.
It took a couple of hours for EMS and a helicopter to reach the two. Paramedics had to crawl down the bluff while others found a route to bring the man to the helicopter.
The entire rescue mission lasted about four hours.
"You know, people worry about what to do when it happens to someone you care about," he said. " Luckily it just kicked in and went into gear."
The Louisiana man broke his arm, leg and bones in his face. He's recovering in a Missouri hospital.
IMAGE: Baxter Bulletin