By Lt. Robert Kelsey, AA/PIO
Sierra Conservation Center
After her shift at Sierra Conservation Center, Supervising Registered Nurse II Maria Cope was on her way home when she came across a lone ambulance helping victims of a car accident. Not seeing any other emergency vehicles such as fire or law enforcement, she stopped her car to offer assistance.
The paramedic attending to the injured driver said there was a second vehicle involved in the accident but it was over the side of the canyon. The vehicles had been in a head-on collision.
She ran to the edge and climbed down the embankment into the canyon to help the other victims. A few moments later, Correctional Officer Phil Hope came upon the scene and recognized Cope’s car. He pulled over and once he assessed the situation, he immediately joined SRNII Cope over the embankment and into the canyon.
The two SCC staff members stayed with both of the injured occupants, a male driver and his puppy, calming them and assisting directly with stabilization and extraction when rescue personnel eventually arrived on scene. They assisted in securing a spine board and helping to physically carry the injured driver up the embankment for extraction by helicopter.
The accident happened April 25.