Responders rescue ailing woman near Monument Mountain summit


Photo Gallery | Monument Mountain hiker rescue

GREAT BARRINGTON — An Oregon woman was rescued from the top of Monument Mountain on Saturday after suffering chest pain and dizziness, authorities said.

The woman, who is 61, received medical treatment on the mountain and an ATV ride down courtesy of about 25 first responders.

Fortunately, the firefighters and medics had recently completed a 16-hour course in mountain rescue, according to Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Berger.

"It was fairly well-timed," Berger said.

Authorities received an emergency cellphone call from the woman's husband — the pair are on vacation together — around noon, triggering the response.

Great Barrington Police and Fire departments, Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad and Sheffield and Egremont Fire personnel responded to the call.

Responders reached the woman near the summit by Inscription Rock around 12:45 p.m. , Berger said.

Her condition was not believed to be life-threatening, he said.

"She was very cold and weak," Berger said. "Probably suffering dehydration. The medic started an [intravenous] line of fluids on her, then we carried her about a quarter of a mile to where the ATVs were waiting to take her to Fairview Hospital."

He added, "We've had sad [mountain responses] in the past. People have died on us on the way down. This was definitely a good one. The patient was located at an easy place to reach, she was stable and despite the circumstances, she was pleasant."

The woman arrived at Fairview just before 2 p.m., Berger said.

Monument Mountain offers spectacular views from the higher reaches and summit, known as Squaw Peak, which has an elevation of 1,642 feet, according to the Trustees of Reservations.

Berger said Southern Berkshire emergency responders typically make rescues about 20 times a year at local recreation spots like Monument, Bash Bish Falls State Park and the Appalachian Trail.

"More and more people are hiking, and that means a lot of inexperienced people," he said. "We caution people to be careful, especially this time of year with all the fallen leaves. Hiking injuries go up this time of year."


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