Cornell students save hiker's life in Vermont's Green Mountains
A group of 10 Cornell students on an outdoors outing in the Green Mountains in Vermont last week saved the life of a veteran hiker they came across who was seriously injured with a broken ankle.
The students, members of the Cornell Outdoor Education Odyssey group, were hiking at the time on the Green Mountain National Forest's Long Trail near Ripton.
William "Corky" Lowe, 69, who was out hiking with two friends, had slipped and fell, dislocating and breaking his ankle in three places, according to the Cornell Chronicle. The friends had fashioned a splint for Lowe's leg and one of them, Herb Armstrong, had gone to call 911. He ended up running into the Cornell students.
The Cornell contingent found Lowe about a half hour later on the ground in the rain, along with his friend, Bill Buccine, who had remained behind with him.
The three guides for the Cornell group – Tanvi Naidu, '17; Eliza Weaver '17 and Paul DeVito,'18 -- all had Wilderness First Response and emergency medicine training under their belts thanks to Outdoor Odyssey program, said the Cornell Chronicle.
Howe was shivering and appeared to be in shock when they found him, Naudu said.
"The students put up a tarp, covered him with sleeping bags and boiled water for drinking and a hot water bottle to treat his hypothermia. Weaver also began calling for help and after several dropped calls go through just before noon," The Chronicle reported.
A fire department rescue team arrived after 2 p.m.
The Cornell group, consisting of the three guides, six incoming freshmen and a transfer student, assisted the volunteers in carrying the 240-pound Lowe in a Stokes basket down the mountainside, traveling on a steep, wet trail with lots of roots. The arduous, 4-mile trip down took 8 hours, The Chronicle said.
Emergency vehicles were waiting at the bottom, along with a bus for the students. Lowe was then transported to Vermont University Medical Center in Burlington, the Chronicle said.
"I have been long-distance hiking for over 40 years, and I am here to tell you that the COE team saved my life on that trail and displayed determination (to) succeed that was humbling," said Lowe, an emergency management coordinator and retired U.S. Army colonel from New Jersey.