Hiker rescued from fall at Rock Island State Park


On Aug. 12, 2023, at 12:29 p.m., Sparta-White County Rescue Squad was called out to Rock Island State Park to assist in retrieving a hiker who had fallen out of the gorge.

“Fortunately, it was a small drop,” Charlie Tollison, Sparta-White County Rescue Squad public information officer and Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads vice president, said. “The hiker was carried out by a Stokes basket, with a progressive catch on the rope, to ensure safety in case of any slippage by the rescuers.”

The Stokes basket is device used to both immobilize as well as transport a victim over terrain. The basket/litter was developed by the Navy. It was originally designed by Francis Stokes, retired surgeon general of the Navy.

Tollison concluded, “Big thanks to all who responded – Rock Island Park rangers, White County Emergency Medical Service, White County Sheriff’s Office, White County Office of Emergency Management, and Sparta-White County Rescue Squad.”


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