Hikers Saved... But At A High Price
An Arizona Department of Public Safety emergency worker was
killed Monday, the victim of an apparent rotor blade strike during
a mountainside rescue attempt.
620-KTAR in Phoenix reports Bruce Harrolle (right) was assisting
with the rescue of two dehydrated hikers Monday afternoon in the
Bell Rock area south of Sedona, AZ. The Flagstaff-based helicopter
and crew responded to a request for assistance from the Sedona Fire
Department and the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
The 36-year-old DPS medic was reportedly able to help one of the
hikers into the DPS Air Rescue Ranger Bell 407, and was attempting
to guide the second into the helicopter when he was struck by a
"While they were performing the rescue, they were able to get
the male subject into the helicopter," said DPS Lt. James Warriner.
"While trying to put the female into the helicopter, something
happened that caused the paramedic to get struck by a rotor blade,
resulting in his death."
The helicopter's pilot, the only other crewmember onboard, was
able to perform the rescue and fly the two hikers off Bell Rock, a
large rock formation south of Sedona.
"The pilot had to leave the medic up there because he could not
make a full landing and shut down the helicopter," Warriner told
KPHO-5. Harrolle's body was later recovered by a ground rescue
The exact circumstances of the accident are unclear at this
time; reports do not indicate whether Harrolle was struck by the
helicopter's main rotor or tail rotor.
Warriner noted mountain rescues using helicopters are very
dangerous for DPS personnel, "because typically they're working off
one skid or both skids or just barely on the rocks or wherever they
decide to move."
Harrolle had been with DPS nine years. His death was the first
loss of a DPS officer in the line of duty in eight years, according
to the radio station.
Make/Model: B407 Description: Bell
Date: 10/13/2008 Time: 2218
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: SEDONA State: AZ Country:
N42AZ, A BELL 407 ROTORCRAFT OPERATED BY THE ARIZONA
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
SAFETY, AFTER LANDING, A PARAMEDIC ON EXITING THE AIRCRAFT
INJURED, AT DOME MOUNTAIN NEAR SEDONA, AZ
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 0 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 1 Ser:
WEATHER: NOT REPORTED
Activity: Pleasure Phase:
Landing Operation: OTHER
FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Entry date: 10/14/2008