A LifeFlight helicopter prepares to take off from a ridgetop area in Polk County with an injured man in his 60s aboard for a trip to the hospital. (Photo provided by Kings Valley RFD and Philomath Fire and Rescue)

A man in his 60s who fell and dislocated his hip Sunday morning in a mountainous region of Polk County was rescued and flown to the hospital in an operation that required responders to travel over challenging roads and find a place for a helicopter to land, Philomath Fire and Rescue reported.

Philomath’s involvement began with a dispatch to the scene at 9:20 a.m. Sept. 10 to assist Hoskins-Kings Valley Rural Fire on a mountain rescue by request of Polk County, Philomath Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa said. The man was in an area about 20 miles from the Kings Valley fire station.

“The patient was in a make-shift site with a trailer and had recent surgery on his back and hip,” Saalsaa said. “He fell in a way that he dislocated the long femoral bone from the hip socket, which is extremely painful. It would have been difficult and taken a long time to get the patient off the mountain by ambulance, and with the poor conditions of the two-track roads, would have been very painful for the patient.”

Responding agencies had earlier met an individual at the Kings Valley station who led them to the victim. Based on a description of the man’s injuries and the remoteness of the location, a LifeFlight helicopter was called in to assist.

“It took 45 minutes for our crews to reach the patient, who was stable but in extreme pain with obvious deformity of the right leg near the hip,” Saalsaa said.

Saalsaa said an Oregon Department of Forestry unit out of Dallas had also responded and was able to find a close landing zone for the helicopter on a ridgetop.

“It was fortunate to have the arrival of the ODF crew who knew of the landing site due to a fire in the area a couple of weeks ago,” Saalsaa said. “Once the patient was located, we were able to get him packaged and ready for transport. The hard part was access across unimproved forest roads.”

At the landing site, Saalsaa provided setup while crews transported the man via Corvallis Fire ambulance to the area, which was approximately 1 mile from the spot where he went down with the injury.

The man was flown to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis.

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