On Saturday, May 8, 2021, shortly before noon, the Hungarian Cave Rescue Service received a call for help about a hiker in Börzsöny, near Nagyirtáspuszta, suffered an ankle injury on só hegy (Salt hill), he is unable to stand on his feet, so he has no chance to get off the mountain without help. They also asked for help from the National Ambulance Service (OMSz), which sent the ambulance from the town Vámosmikola to the scene.
The caller also mentioned that we should prepare for a heavy lift since the gentleman weighs around a 100 kg so that it will not be easy to transport him on the difficult terrain.
We issued a state-wide alert to the rescue members and then negotiated with the OMSz dispatch so that our units could work efficiently together.
At 12:30 the first cave rescuers together with the OMSz ambulance arrived in the parking lot of the nearby Szent Orbán pension. We received the exact GPS coordinates of the accident from the caller, which allowed us to start our hike to the site, which was about 1.5 km away.
The majority of the road was accessible with our heavy duty off-road vehicle (we relied on this based on local knowledge and the map), thankfully there wasn’t much mud either. Soon the rest of the crew and the equipment arrived from our central warehouse including the special stretcher and rope gear.
Meanwhile, on-site care had already begun for the injured, who had previously received painkillers from his peers, and then the OMSz ambulance unit had fixed the limb according to their standard procedures and covered the gentleman insulating foil and cloth to provide protection from the chilly weather (~15 C). By off-road vehicle, the equipment and the cave rescuers were delivered from the parking lot to the foot of Só Hill with several laps of the vehicle. Then we started rigging the necessary safety ropes on the steep hillside for transport.
Further examination by the two cave rescuer doctors revealed that his ankle had visible deformity (probably broken), and his leg was painful even on the slightest movement. Fortunately, the circulation of the limb was okay. In addition to the ankle injury, there was only a small abrasion on the left hand as a result of the accident. So they gave him additional IV painkillers.
After the expanded medical care, the man with the fixed limb was transported to the special cave rescue stretcher on the hillside, using rope to secure our movements in several locations. Due to proper fixation and medicine, there was no significant pain during transport and the patient was in good condition during the process.
We transported the injured with the off-road vehicle from the foot of Só-hegy back to the parking lot, and at 15:30 he was already in the OMSZ Ambulance on his way to the traumatology on duty.
We wish him a quick recovery!
16 people from the Hungarian Cave Rescue Service and 1 person from the Northern Hungary Association of Cave Rescuers took part in the rescue.
The case was again a fine example of the joint work of the OMSz - BMSz.
Photo: Zsolt Sándor, Nándor Szederkényi, dr. Péter Zentay