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5 injured among calls of drowning, heat exposure in Tallulah Gorge

Two patients and three emergency personnel were treated during a series of calls Saturday, Aug. 11, at Tallulah Gorge.

Habersham County EMS Director Chad Black said the first case was a distress call down in the gorge that involved heat exposure.

“Once we got up there and started on that particular call, then there was another call coming in (on) a reported drowning at Sliding Rock. We had to split crews up,” Black said.

When crews arrived at the drowning call, the victim had been removed from the water, and bystanders had administered CPR.

The victim was breathing, and the Department of Natural Resources was on its way to lift the patient out of the park.

Black said one of the medics there slipped and injured his hip and knee, making it difficult for him to hike back out.

Once the drowning victim was lifted out, authorities returned to airlift the medic.

The drowning victim was taken by helicopter to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and remains there.

The medic was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center and was treated and released Saturday night.

“He’s doing OK. I checked on him today,” Black said.

The original distress call patient was walked out of the gorge by EMS personnel and given IV fluids before being released to family.

Two other EMS personnel had symptoms of heat exposure and dehydration. They were treated on scene and able to return to work.