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Chelsea firefighters use rope rescue Saturday for sledding accident

Chelsea Area Fire Authority firefighters were called to Keezer’s Hill, a sledding hill in Lyndon Township, to assist Huron Valley Ambulance with a rescue of a female sledder who was injured.

The hill is located off M-52 on Waterloo Road and the woman was injured and at the bottom of the hill. It’s believed she hit a tree while sledding, firefighters said.

“We did a low angle rope rescue” said Firefighter Robert Stelzer, which is a specialized rescue technique that involves a “stokes basket,” equipment that is used to slide across ice and snow.

Stelzer said when firefighters arrived the woman had head, back and neck pain and was already on a backboard and HVA personnel had wrapped her up to keep her warm.

Lt. Lance Baird said firefighters were called to the hill at 3:33 p.m. Saturday, and once the ropes were secured, it took them about 26 minutes to get the woman from the bottom of the hill to the top — about 50 yards.

The hill is located about a half-mile from the road and the sledder was unable to walk back up the hill.

The firefighters regularly train on rope rescue techniques and Stelzer said, “it’s always exciting to use rescue techniques that we’ve been training.”

The woman, believed to be in her 40’s, was transported to Chelsea Community Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, Baird said.

Also assisting in the rope rescue operation were Capt. Derek Klink and firefighters Chris Collier, Roger Chapman, Chuck Downer and Zack Lessner.

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