Inmate airlifted to hospital after heat ailment

Los Angeles County firefighter-paramedics prepare to hoist a patient into Copter 16 above San Francisquito Canyon Road in Saugus on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Credit: LACoFireAirOps/Twitter)

An inmate firefighter was airlifted to safety Thursday morning after having suffered a  heat-related ailment.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m., paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to reports of an inmate firefighter in need of medical attention on the 30000 block of San Francisquito Canyon Road, near one of the county’s inmate firefighting camps.

The inmate began suffering from the heat when he found himself in a remote spot in hard-to-reach terrain. “It was too far our engines to get up there,” Fire Department Inspector Gustavo Medina said. The National Weather Service reported temperatures in the mid-90s for the SCV on Thursday.

“The patient was in a spot where he wasn’t able to walk out,” he said.  “It was too high.”

That’s when the County’s Rescue Helicopter 16 was dispatched to the remote location on San Francisquito Canyon Road.

The rescued inmate was hoisted into the helicopter and taken to the hospital.

The rescue happened on a day Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an air quality warning for people working outside.

The air quality created unhealthy conditions for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley on Thursday, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer, Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, advises people living or working in the San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley areas with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory diseases to minimize outdoor activities.

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