August 8, 2018 7:57 am

Woman burned in camping accident saved by firefighters, RCAF Search and Rescue techs

The victim had to be brought out of the woods on an ATV driven by local firefighters

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One woman is in a Toronto trauma centre after an accident with a camping stove Monday evening.

Peterborough County OPP reported the woman, who suffered burns as a result of the accident, was part of a camping group in a remote area of Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. The campsite, located on Shark Lake, was thought to be accessible only by water, slowing first responders who attempted to reach the scene.

READ MORE: Royal Canadian Air Force crew assists OPP to evacuate ill camper from Puzzle Lake Provincial Park


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First responders appealed to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre at 8 Wing Trenton to help them reach the woman. A Griffon helicopter from 424 Squadron was soon on the scene, but the victim still had to be brought out of the woods for search and rescue technicians to assess her injuries.

North Kawartha Fire Department chief Jesse Lambe said firefighters train in the park regularly and have access to GPS information on every campsite as well as local knowledge of the trails in the area.

“We do annual training and ATV training. We also do GPS and compass and map work, and around the fall time, we do a big scenario, in-house in wilderness training,”  Lambe said.

READ MORE: RCAF Search and Rescue Helicopters saves two from Cordova Lake

Two North Kawartha firefighters on ATVs found the woman, provided first aid and brought her to a location where the rescue helicopter could lift her to safety. Resident Barry Killen knows the area and watched the rescue unfold.

“These guys were 10 out of 10. They took their ATVs and picked this woman up and transported her on a trail. If nine was the worst, this was a 10 as far as conditions go: you go up mountains, ridges — this is as bad as it gets,” Killen said.

READ MORE: RCMP, Search and Rescue hold remote rescue training in Halifax

After further treatment by search and rescue technicians and paramedics, the woman — who is believed to be in her 60s — was winched into the helicopter and flown to Peterborough Regional Health Centre. She was later airlifted to a Toronto trauma centre with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

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