An off-duty Berlin, Connecticut, police officer recently worked with local firefighters to rescue his daughter and her friend, who had gotten stuck in the rugged terrain of the Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve in the sweltering heat.
Sergeant John Flynn had just finished mountain biking through the New Britain side of Ragged Mountain on August 31 when his 17-year-old daughter Jessica called him asking for help. She told him that her friend, who she had gone hiking with at the preserve, was sick.
“I said, ‘I’m going to see if I can find them,’” Flynn recalled, per CT Insider. He also notified Berlin dispatcher Tom Farr, who sent an ambulance.
Flynn went back up the mountain on the west side to look for the girls in the location they described, but could not find them anywhere through the thick trees.
“At that point, I knew we were going to need an ATV and a Gator,” Flynn said.
Not able to communicate with Flynn through the spotty cellphone connection, Farr, veteran firefighter, realized that Flynn would need the support of volunteer firefighters and dispatched a team to the base of the mountain on West Lane.
“He knew exactly what I needed even though all I could get through was ‘fire,’” Flynn said. “He was spot on.”
Flynn was eventually able to locate his daughter’s position through a cellphone app and headed back up the mountain alongside firefighters who cut down several trees to pave the way for the Gator vehicle.
“Rescue teams reported a tough time making entry, with frequent stops to cut trees in the trail as there has been quite a bit of dead wood and storm damage on the mountain,” fire officials said in a statement.
The officer soon found the girls at the top of the Southington side of the mountain.
Flynn said his daughter’s friend was dizzy and weak. “She was alert — but pale,” he recalled.
Firefighters then transported the girls on the Gator to the ambulance at the bottom of the mountain. After a 45-minute rescue effort, the girl finally made it to the hospital.
Fire Chief Jonn Massirio said the girl’s injury was heat-related.
“I’m just a father, but they do this all of the time,” Flynn said, crediting the efforts and quick actions of the firefighters and Farr.