DANBURY, Conn. -- The Danbury Fire Department located and rescued a family of four that got lost in the woods in Tarrywile Park on Monday night.
The 911 center received a call from a 15-year-old at 8:43 p.m. Monday, reporting that the family was lost in the woods. Danbury Fire and EMS units were dispatched to conduct a land search, while a command post was set up at the entrance to the park, where Deputy Chief Bernie Meehan coordinated efforts of firefighters to being a search of the woods.
"The City of Danbury has some of the most advanced technology available to first responders," the Danbury Fire Department said. This includes iPads and iPhones with GPS mapping systems linked into the Danbury Dispatch Center. When the family dialed 911, the emergency dispatcher was able to drop a pin on the GPS system, which showed up on the iPads, allowing firefighters to pinpoint the exact location of the lost hikers.
The hikers were about 1.1 miles away from the rescuers, who were able to cover that distance in the fire department's Gator off road vehicle in about 30 minutes, through the woods and pitch black dark of night, fire officials said.
The Bethel Fire Department provided mutual aid with their off road rescue vehicle as well, and were able to catch up with the DFD Search 1 team to assist bringing the family out of the woods. Once they were brought back to the command post, the family was checked out by Danbury EMS and found to be uninjured and in good health.
The Danbury Fire Department is reminding hikers to adhere to some basic safety measures while hiking. Always file a rough hiking plan with a friend, carry a fully-charged cell phone, drinking water and a flashlight with fresh batteries in case it gets dark. If you find yourself lost or injured, stop moving, call 911, and give the dispatcher the nature of the problem.
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