Conservation Officer Sgt. Glen Lucas
August 12, 2019
Bean’s Grant, NH – At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, 2019 a 911 call was received for a hiker in distress and suffering from a medical emergency. The caller was a US Forest Service Backcountry Steward hiking on Webster Cliff Trail that came across a man that was sitting on the trail with shortness of breath and unable to continue. The Steward took limited but necessary information from the patient and ran to find cell service in order to make the call.
Richard Vidulich, 61, of Morgantown, West Virginia, was hiking on the Webster Cliff trail for 2–3 hours when he had sudden shortness of breath. He slowed his pace and was only able to make it 10–12 steps at a time before needing to rest again, due to the shortness of breath. This was determined to be a medical emergency, not fatigue.
Conservation Officers responded to the call along with Twin Mountain Fire and Rescue. A Conservation Officer arrived on the scene, 2.5 miles from the trailhead, at approximately 11:20 p.m. where Vidulich was assessed. It was decided that it was best to escort him down the trail slowly.
Twin Mountain Fire and Rescue Paramedics, EMTs, and Conservation Officers assisted Vidulich down the trail while closely monitoring his condition. The rescue team reached the trailhead with Vidulich at approximately 6:30 a.m., at which time he refused transport to the hospital by Twin Mountain Ambulance, but chose to seek medical treatment on his own.
NH Fish and Game is fortunate to have a Fire and Rescue team consisting of Paramedics and EMTs, such as Twin Mountain, that is trained and willing to treat patients so far back in the wilderness. Large and heavy medical equipment was hiked miles in, in order to monitor and treat Vidulich on the trail. This invaluable resource has been called upon for many years and continues to be a great partnership for wilderness rescues such as this one.