Injured hiker airlifted off of Camelback Mountain

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Rescuers from the Phoenix Fire Department airlifted an injured hiker off of Camelback Mountain on Monday morning.

A 56-year-old man reportedly fell while hiking in Echo Canyon and hit his head.

In the first phase of the rescue operation, a firefighter was lowered from a helicopter to the injured hiker while other firefighters hiked to the scene.

Once with the injured hiker, firefighters stabilized the patient, put him in a harness and hoisted him into the helicopter. He was then flown to a landing zone in a neighborhood on the east side of Camelback Mountain. From there, the patient was transported to the hospital by ambulance to get treated for his injuries.

Firefighters decided to airlift the patient because of the rugged terrain where he was injured. According to rescuers, they tried to walk him down because the man seemed to be feeling better, but determined the safest way to rescue the man would be by helicopter.