Another week, another rescue on Panther Creek Trail.
This afternoon at 4:12 p.m., a woman called Habersham County 911 to report that she and her two children were experiencing “heat emergencies” while hiking the trail. The woman told the dispatcher she was unsure whether they would make it out without help.
Habersham County Emergency Services, Lee Arrendale and Tallulah Falls Fire and Rescue, along with the Habersham County Search and Rescue (HabSAR) team responded to the area.
Three emergency crew members hiked into the area from the trailhead off of Old Historic US 441. Upon determining the hikers’ exact location, the rest of the rescue team relocated to an area where the trail crosses power lines running parallel to GA-15/US-441. “We were able to access that area and meet crews who were bringing them out,” says Habersham County Emergency Services Director Chad Black.
All three patients were experiencing symptoms from the heat. They were evaluated but refused transport to the hospital, says Black. First responders returned the family to their vehicle.
Today’s was the third sick call on Panther Creek Trail since July 11 – the sixth overall rescue operation stage on the trail since March.
“This is a difficult trail, and with the heat index being what it has been, it only compounds the difficulty,” warns Black. He urges people who are not experienced hikers or in good physical shape to steer clear of the trail in this summer heat.