Tuesday spike in calls creates busy day for emergency service responders

A lightning-caused residential fire, a three-vehicle crash on AZ 260, a chainsaw injury and a dehydrated hiker made for a busy day for emergency responders and the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority Tuesday.

At 3 p.m., during an afternoon thundershower with considerable lightning, Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority was dispatched to Center Lane in Middle Verde Road in Camp Verde following a report of a house that had caught on fire following a lighting strike.

Upon arrival, reported Fire Chief Terry Keller, crews found fire behind the ceiling and inside one of the walls of the residence. The fire was quickly suppressed with minimal application of water. However, the call initiated a full response of three fire engines (Camp Verde, Rimrock and Verde Valley Fire District), two water tenders, an ambulance, and a battalion chief.

Additional support was provided by Cottonwood Fire Department and Verde Valley Ambulance in the form of a support truck (air supply) and a rehab unit. These units were released before they made it to the incident, said Keller.

Simultaneously, CCFMA received three additional calls for service. At 3:36 p.m., Verde Valley Fire District's engine was released from Middle Verde to respond with a CCFMA ambulance to 3rd street in Camp Verde for an ill female. This patient refused transport from the crew, who had responded to a call back for staffing due to the fire.

At 3:42 p.m., a fire engine from Cottonwood Fire Department, which had been moved-up toward Camp Verde due to the house fire, responded to a report of a vehicle accident at AZ 260 and Cherry Creek Road. Upon arrival, crews found a three-vehicle rear-end type accident. Fortunately, only one patient was transported from this incident to the hospital by a CCFMA ambulance.

At 3:47 p.m., the Verde Valley Fire District's engine cleared the call from 3rd Street and responded to a report of traumatic injury on Meckem Lane in Camp Verde. Crews encountered a patient that suffered an injury from a chain saw, who was also transported to the hospital by the CCFMA ambulance, which had also cleared from the fire call by this point.

Once this call was over, things settled down for a brief period, but at 6:02 p.m.,CCFMA crews were dispatched to the area along Beaver Creek below the Yavapai Apache Cultural Center for the report of a dehydrated hiker. Crews located and treated a middle aged man down below the cliff face, who was then assisted to the top of trail and transported to the hospital by CCFMA ambulance.

Chief Keller expressed appreciation to the Verde Valley Fire District, Verde Valley Ambulance, and Cottonwood Fire Department for their support in helping to cover this spike in call volume that proved to be a very busy afternoon.

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