GREAT BARRINGTON — An injured hiker was rescued Saturday afternoon after falling down a steep embankment along the Housatonic River.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m., Great Barrington police and fire personnel and Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad were called to the area between the Green Lawn Cemetery and the river off of Van Deusenville Road, according to Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger.

Burger said the first responders found a hiker with a minor ankle injury about 40 feet below the embankment. The victim was climbing down the hilly terrain to help another man he was hiking with on a trail above the river who had chased after his dog that got away. The dog owner couldn't get back up the embankment, prompting the second man to climb down only to fall trying to reach the first man and his dog.

The wife of the dog owner also followed the second man down the embankment, with all three unable to climb back up to the trail. Burger believes the three– person party then called a friend who called 911.

Upon arrival, the Great Barrington Fire Department’s Tech Rescue team went to work rigging up ropes and haul lines. Burger says each person slipped into a harness and were assisted safely back up on the trail all within 30 minutes. The injured person was treated on scene, fire officials said.

"This was one of the easier rescues we've had," Burger noted. "In fact, we were supposed to practice such a rescue during our Monday night training session."

Dick Lindsay can be reached at