Fellow trackers would describe Brad Jones as a nervy mountaineer. He took on the jobs no one else dared. Whether that was bravery or stupidity, even he wasn’t sure at times and yet, he continued.
Whenever someone was in danger, in a location that was arduous at best, incredibly dangerous at worst, he was called and answered without hesitation. Not because he had a hero complex, but because it had been his job for ten years.
Confident in his abilities and because he did his homework, studied the location in advance and walked into the situation fully prepared, his success rate spoke for itself. While that might be gratifying, what drove him was the look in the family’s faces when their loved ones were returned safely; more the look in the eyes of those he rescued – it defied description.
Too often people ended up in trouble because they weren’t prepared for the terrain or weather. At times they had used their gear incorrectly resulting in injury. Those instances were understandable. The ones that annoyed him were the situations involving drunken dares where everyone was partying and no one was paying particular attention to their surroundings and what was happening.
The most rewarding saves involved individuals that had mysteriously gone missing and hadn’t been seen for days or weeks and due to no folly on their part, became disoriented or lost or fell and were injured but knew enough to stay put until they were rescued or managed to get to higher ground where they could be spotted.
He’d just arrived back from his latest rescue in which two women were injured and one lay unconscious on top of a landslide where she’d fallen after assisting her friend to safety. After wrapping her leg tightly and fashioning a make-shift crutch, the second woman had climbed up fifty feet in an attempt to get help for her fallen friend. She hadn’t wanted to leave her friend behind since she lay unconscious on top of the mudslide, but she knew she couldn’t get to her and that the situation was serious and precarious.
They were seasoned hikers but even so, time and unforeseen circumstances can catch you off guard and wreak havoc. Even so, it had taken ten hours to get to the unconscious woman. Luckily as it turned out, the woman had remained immobile because one false move would have sent her sliding on down the remainder of the mountainside and certain death.
Brad had enlisted the assistance of a rescue crew he’d previously worked with and in whom he had confidence. Together, they’d managed to get down to her and with men on either side of the slide, rigged up some makeshift gear and a bed to hold her securely while they lifted her to safety using a pulley system until they’d dragged her up the mountainside to solid ground. They’d all sweat bullets over that one since the landslide could still go at any minute.
Later he’d gone to the hospital to check on the women and both were doing well. The first woman had a severely sprained ankle that was taped to her thigh while the second woman had sustained a concussion and they were keeping her for observation and other than a few bad scrapes, she was going to be ok. They both thanked him profusely for his assistance and after wishing them well, he’d left.
Just another day in Brad Jones life. A day that brought relief, satisfaction, and a feeling of accomplishment. It was good!