PALO ALTO -- A 71-year-old hiker who lost his footing and fell about 30 feet down an embankment of Foothills Park was rescued by firefighters and airlifted to Stanford hospital.

The man was hiking with a group of friends on a narrow trail in the 1,400-acre park just after 10 a.m. Tuesday when he slipped on loose gravel and tumbled down, Palo Alto Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles said.

Once the man fell, some hikers in his group ran to find cell coverage and called 911 while others hiked down to help him, Capriles said.

Palo Alto firefighters responded to the park, set up a base camp and then hiked about 15 to 20 minutes to get to the injured hiker.

Firefighters used a rope system to reach the man and get him back up to the trail.

From there, firefighters wheeled the man to a landing zone, where a Cal Fire helicopter used a rope to pull him into the aircraft. The man was then transported to another landing spot in the park, where he was transferred to a Life Flight helicopter, when flew him to Stanford.

The hiker lost consciousness for about two minutes and complained of head, neck and shoulder pain, Capriles said.

Cal Fire and park rangers and Stanford Life Flight assisted in the rescue.

Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him at Twitter.com/markmgomez.



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