Border Patrol, County EMT in dramatic rescue of man from mountain top

Border Patrol agents from the Big Bend Sector, along with an EMT from Presidio, spent the night on a mountain top Friday night and Saturday morning with a Houston man who was too injured to climb down.

Agents were asked for assistance by the Presidio Fire Department Friday evening. An attempt at a rescue by a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter had to be called off because of weather conditions. A Border Patrol EMT and two agents from the Presidio Station and the Presidio EMT climbed the mountain in the dark. They arrived at the location of the injured man and his companions about midnight. They carried equipment to provide aid and comfort to the injured man.

The EMTs examined the man and discovered he had a compound fracture of his leg and could not walk. After providing initial treatment to the man, they moved him to a more comfortable location where they could keep him warm until he could be rescued. The agents gathered firewood through the night.

During the night, two agents from the Marfa Border Patrol Station carried supplies up the mountain on ATVs and on foot.

At daybreak Saturday, other Border Patrol agents from Presidio and the Marfa Station, including a Border Patrol paramedic, climbed the mountain with additional equipment to assist in the rescue. The man was then moved to an area where a helicopter could land.

A Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine helicopter, from the Alpine Air Branch, landed and the man, along with the Border Patrol paramedic, were flown to Alpine, where he was transferred to a flight to a hospital in El Paso.

The man’s wife, who was also on the mountain, was flown to a Presidio County ranch.

“Border Patrol agents proved once more their willingness to do what is necessary to protect and assist the public,” said Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Carry Huffman. “Climbing up a 5,000 foot mountain in the dark is not something we do every day, but when it is necessary to save a life, our agents can be counted on. We appreciate the support of the Presidio Fire Department and their EMT who [were] willing to go the extra mile as well.”

Two other members with the group were able to get down the mountain on their own.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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