Trapped Couple Rescued From Calaveras Home
Water flooding over the banks of the creek blocking the driveway
Sheep Ranch, CA – A medical emergency turned into a rescue mission in Sheep Ranch, as once on scene, rescue crews had to figure out how to cross dangerous flood waters in order to get to a couple trapped in their home.
A call came to 911 just before 6 p.m. Tuesday from a Sheep Ranch man who was having a medical emergency. He told the dispatch that he and his wife were trapped inside their home due to flooding. He also noted that his generator had run out of fuel and his cell phone battery was low; the call then went dead, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Greg Stark.
First responders headed to the home, and when they arrived, they started down a two-mile driveway. At the halfway point, they were stopped by flood waters from a seasonal creek rushing over the driveway, making it impassable. Calaveras County Search and Rescue looked at the options of using a motorized inflatable boat or swimmer but determined that was too dangerous. They then called for a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to hoist medical crews to the couple and two Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, or LMTVs, high-water crossing vehicles from the California National Guard. The helicopter got delayed due to a severe thunderstorm and did not arrive until 2 a.m. on Wednesday, and due to thick fog, it was scrapped.
Around 2:45 a.m., the high-water vehicles arrived. Once medical personnel and rescue members were onboard, the vehicle was able to cross the raging waters, but then hit another snag. Downed trees littered the rest of the way to the home. The medical personnel went the rest of the way on foot, while other rescuers grabbed chainsaws and began removing the trees.
It was not until around 4:30 a.m. that rescuers reached the home, and with the trees removed, the vehicles were able to pick up the couple and take them to a waiting ambulance. Assisting resources included the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District, the Central Fire District, medics from the American Legion Ambulance, the Calaveras County Office of Emergency Services, and the California Office of Emergency Services.