Snowmobiler hospitalized after difficult rescue 

BERNE — A snowmobiler who seriously injured himself on a trail in Berne was successfully delivered to a hospital after a difficult early-morning rescue on Jan. 25.

The man, whose identity could not immediately be confirmed, was riding a designated snowmobile trail near Cole Hill, on the site of an abandoned ski slope, when his ski apparently caught on the root of a tree and he was thrown from the snowmobile early Wednesday morning, East Berne Fire Commissioner Mary Alice Molgard told The Enterprise on Friday.

“He was riding with others who were ahead of him and, when they reached a stopping point, the friends discovered they had cell calls from the victim, letting them know he was injured,” Molgard said. “They returned to the trail in personal vehicles, and hiked in through the snow to where the victim was located. He was alone on the trail for about an hour. The friends called 9-1-1 and hiked up the slope to stay with him until help arrived.”

Because there was about of foot of snow on the ground, she said, it was impossible to bring the ambulance directly to the man, and so he was instead retrieved by all-terrain vehicles and utility task vehicles from the Berne and East Berne fire departments, who were guided in by East Berne Fire Chief Scott Duncan, she said, adding that Duncan had to use a snowplow to get to the trail and then hike to the man’s location.

An Albany County paramedic, who was brought in by the ATV/UTV units, stabilized the man, who reportedly had a ruptured spleen, broken ribs and vertebrae, and “other internal injuries,” Molgard said; he was then loaded onto a Stokes basket and brought to the ambulance, and from there was brought to a hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

His current status is unknown. 

“The rescue operation took about 90 minutes from the time we were dispatched,” Molgard said, “approximately 1:04 a.m. About 15 firefighters were on the scene to assist.” 

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