REDDING, CA - A hiker who had broken his leg and was being rescued by a CHP paramedic helicopter crew saved the life of one of the officers when the officer was struck by the helicopter's main rotor blade.
California Highway Patrol Capt. John Price says the rescue was last Thursday in rugged terrain near Big Bear Lake in Shasta Trinity Forest. CHP pilot Officer Brian Henderson and paramedic Officer Tony Stanley had arrived to transport the injured hiker, Dr. Jeremy Kilburn, for medical care when Stanley was hurt. Kilburn, an Air Force pulmonologist from Las Vegas, could not walk but rolled down a hill to reach Stanley to administer first aid.
Another hiker, Bryce Harbert, who was with the hikers who found the injured Kilburn, assisted helping Stanley, said Price. Elizabeth Fitch, also with Harbert's group, helped load Stanley into the helicopter and kept pressure on the paramedic's leg and an IV flowing during the 41-mile flight to Mercy Hospital in Redding.
Stanley, 40, remains hospitalized. He has been with the CHP for 10 years.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow called Kilburn and the other Good Samaritans "guardian angels."
" Thanks to the assistance they provided, Tony is alive today," said Farrow. "I cannot even imagine the pain Dr. Kilburn was in, unable to walk, when he rolled down the hill to the location of our injured officer. Without regard to his own injuries and pain, Dr. Kilburn performed critical life-saving steps, ultimately saving the life of our officer."