By Jack Toomey
A site known to area residents as a place for family outings, picnicking, and hiking became the scene of a dramatic aerial rescue on May 20.
Montgomery County Fire Department spokesperson Pete Perringer said that at about 7:00 p.m., his agency was called to Sugarloaf Mountain to assist the Frederick County Fire Department in locating and rescuing a man who had fallen off of a rock outcropping and was lying seriously injured in the rocky underbrush.
Frederick County Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Kevin Fox said that since the scene of the rescue was in rough terrain, the Advanced Technical Rescue Team was called to the scene. Typically, this team responds to difficult rescue assignments such as people trapped in confined spaces, building collapses, and swift water rescues. He said that the man had fallen about thirty feet into a crevice, and rescuers had to maneuver down into the rocky area and carry him up out of the gap. He was then carried to the top of the mountain where a Maryland State Police helicopter hovered overhead. The man was placed in a basket and hoisted into the helicopter which then flew to the Adams Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was listed in critical condition. Efforts to learn the man’s name were futile. It was determined that he was a twenty-one-year-old male from Damascus.
David Webster, the executive secretary of the Stronghold Foundation, did not return repeated requests for comment.