Hikers grateful for assistance

Visitors praise those who helped during an incident in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

My wife and I recently planned a short hiking and walking vacation in the Vernon area and arrived May 25.

On May 29, we started on the Rattlesnake Hill circuit above Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. It was a hot and humid day which made hard work of a very pleasant and non-strenuous hike. Lunch on top, a large rest and then we started down the trail towards the red gate parking lot. It should not have been difficult but my wife developed a balance problem due to heat exhaustion and reached a point where she could go no further.

Luckily this was fairly close to a park bench and closer to the end of the trail than we knew. I started down to get help and met two girls coming up — sisters Katie and Carly who had a cell phone and called in professional help for us.

Carly continued on up to keep my wife company and Katie came down with me to meet the emergency paramedics, whose ambulance arrived just before I got there.

She went back up with the paramedics to show them the route, leaving me to brief the Vernon Search and Rescue team, which arrived about half-an-hour later with some very far-out looking mechanized units. This team and I were driven back up the trail to the patient who seemed much better and by this time had collected quite a crowd.

Heat exhaustion seemed to be the verdict of the the paramedics and the whole group of us drove back to the base and my wife was taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital for observation. I hung around long enough to talk to both teams and then also followed to the hospital.

A situation which could have ended badly was averted by the prompt and willing help of all concerned.

The two girls set it up and stayed with it, and the emergency paramedic response was prompt and very welcome. The search and rescue team, a volunteer group, was very efficient and, later, the hospital medical care was all that one could wish.

My wife was kept there for two nights and discharged on the Saturday morning.

To all of these people, professional and otherwise, thank you very much for the help.

Alan and June Banwell,

North Vancouver