Lt. William Boudreau
March 30, 2020
Jaffrey, NH – On Saturday at approximately 11:55 a.m., NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of an injured hiker at Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey. John Garrahan, 60, of Arlington, MA, was hiking down the White Dot Trail, just below the summit, in the Paradise Valley area, when he fell and suffered a serious but non-life-threatening head injury. Fortunately, there was an off-duty Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Mountain Patrol Ranger who was hiking nearby and responded to Garrahan.
The off-duty Mountain Patrol Ranger, who is an EMT, was able to assist Garrahan down the mountain to the Old Toll Road. From there a Conservation Officer transported Garrahan and his two hiking companions down the Old Toll Road, where Garrahan was transferred to the Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance for transport.
The off-duty Mountain Patrol Ranger happened to be in the right place at the right time and helped mitigate a larger response from Conservation Officers, State Park staff, and volunteers. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Monadnock State Park has seen a surge in hikers with an estimated 90 percent of the hikers coming from out of state.
Conservation Officers would like to encourage people who are enjoying the outdoors to do so with a great deal of caution. People putting themselves at risk results in a multitude of first responders and volunteers having to abandon social distancing guidelines, thus placing themselves at risk. Please consider that an injury in the backcountry demands a lot more first responders than a similar injury on the street. Injuries also put a strain on the already overburdened healthcare system.