Hamilton County Volunteers Help in a Cave Rescue

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SAVAGE GULF, GRUNDY County (WDEF-TV) – Hamilton county has one of the best cave rescue groups in the country, and they used their skills Thursday night to rescue a fellow caver.
They got the call around 6pm that a man was trapped in Sausage cave at Savage Gulf Natural area.
This is what it looked like Thursday night as teams climbed down into Sausage cave.
A casual slip caused big problems for one of the two experienced cavers who were exploring the cavern.

CHIEF BOB LEWIS, HAMILTON COUNTY RESCUE SERVICE "One of the gentlemen was traversing across a canyon area and tripped up and did something and fell about 10 feet. " "He sustained some pelvic and rib injuries. Because of our specialty of being able to go in and do cave rescue, we were called in."

Chief Lewis and his team joined other groups from Coalmont, Beersheba Springs, Grundy county and the Tennessee Parks service in a tedious 12 hour rescue.

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CHIEF BOB LEWIS "We had some tough issues inside this cave, we had some vertical drops that we had to read. Had a narrow canyon and we had to something called micro-blasting which we go in there and we shave bits and pieces of the cave off..so in order..we can fit through there but once you package the patient …In the skid..it needs a little bit more room."

The 59 year old man from Viola, Tennessee was able to help his rescuers.

CHIEF BOB LEWIS "He was oriented and alert and communicating ..And overall wasn’t in too bad of pain so we didn’t have to do much in that area."

The caver was taken to a local hospital where his condition has not been released.
Chief Lewis says his team has been called out 6 or 7 times this year to do cave and cliff rescues.
It’s a non-profit group of volunteers who work under the Hamilton county Emergency Management Agency.