On Wednesday, July 30th, the Hastings Fire Department responded to a call around 4:20pm about a report of an individual going into the river just above the first falls near the old dam by ConAgra. According to an email from Hastings Fire Chief, Mike Schutt, to Mayor Hicks, the City Council Members, the Public Safety Advisory Commissioners, and the Rural Fire Partners:
“Police and Fire just returned from a very challenging rescue at the Vermillion Falls. A male victim went into the river just above the first falls near the old dam. When we arrived, he was on the north side of the river right at the crest of the large falls. Our only access was through the Ardent Mills (ConAgra). Once we reached the victim, it was very challenging to remove him from the water. Once we got him onto some rocks and back-boarded, crews had to raise him about 8 feet onto an old working platform. From there, it was another 15 feet to get him inside of the mill. Both raises were straight up. The whole process was a very physically demanding, task oriented process. The patient was transported to St. Paul Regions Hospital.
Today, every police officer and firefighter on scene put forth an enormous amount of effort in a collaborative rescue operation. I am very proud of what both departments accomplished there today.”
Assisstant Fire Chief, John Townsend, goes over the rescue.