Agencies worked together to rescue young hiker on Signal Mountain

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WDEF) — Several different agencies worked together to rescue of a young hiker on Signal Mountain, who fell off Rainbow Falls.

People took advantage of the sunny day and went for a hike to Rainbow Lake. Others veered off to go to Rainbow Falls.

“We like seeing the world and all of the beautiful things mother nature brought to us and let us all enjoy,” Michael Kephart said.

On a recent hike Kephart and Lindsay Wallace made it a point to know where the other one was at all times.

“We left each others line of sight for a little bit, it was kind of high elevation and we could have gotten injured if someone fell. So we called out to each other and kind of made sure we were both okay,” Kephart said.

On Sunday, the Signal Mountain Fire Department was called to rescue 15-year-old girl at Rainbow Falls, who fell roughly fifty feet. They used Tri-State Mutual Aid to get extra resources to the scene.

“They start to work and the integration is seamless. You don’t know from one person on one department to another person, what department they belong to because everybody just goes to work and accomplish a task,” said Chief Eric Mitchell, with the Signal Mountain Fire Department.

It took twenty minutes for rescue teams to get to the girl. They then used the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s helicopter to hoist her up.

“If we had to carry her out and set up rope systems, it would have been a several hour operation. It would have been very extensive and actually very hard on the rescuers too,” Chief Mitchell said.

Kephart and Wallace are making sure they know their route.

“If you are exploring you are going to go somewhere neither of you have been. Kind of get a feel for it before either of you just head out there,” Wallace said.

On their hike on Monday they were being extra careful.

“Make sure the ground is sturdy. That is another thing. With rocks they will just slip and fall and so you have to make sure it is okay to step wherever you are going before you put all of your weight on it,” Wallace said.

The girl’s father says she had surgery on Monday. He says some of her injuries included a broken ankle and facial injuries. He called the fact it wasn’t worse a miracle.

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