Scott Helman Tells How He Helped Rescue Injured Hiker
Scott Helman is being praised for helping rescue an injured man deep inside Killarney Provincial Park, about 400 kilometres north of Toronto.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said the singer-songwriter was one of nine backcountry hikers who assisted two park wardens in getting the man to safety on Canada Day.
“They had to endure [a 1.5-kilometre] trek through rugged terrain, which included steep inclines and declines, large boulders and swamps,” read a message on the Facebook page of the OPP - North East Region. “With their assistance the transportation of the injured person was expedited to the awaiting Ornge air ambulance.”
Helman said he and his friends were “absolutely exhausted” from a three-kilometre portage on the fifth day of a six-day canoe excursion in the park when they came across the man, who was laying injured on the ground under a tarp.
“He was unable to move,” recalled Helman, who learned that the man had been down for about three hours suffering from dehydration and cramps.
Luckily, the man – who police have not identified – had activated a beacon on his satellite phone, so first responders were en route.
“I wouldn’t say we saved his life,” Helman told iHeartRadio.ca on Friday, “but thankfully we were there just to be by his side and give him water.”
The 25-year-old singer said he used the man’s hatchet to help a park warden named Cole clear small trees nearby to create a landing site for the air ambulance. “I didn’t do much," Helman said. "I did maybe five or six baby trees which took me 10 times longer than him because he was this freakin’ incredible superhero man.”
Despite their efforts, the helicopter was unable to land at the location so Helman and his friends were enlisted to help transport the man on a stretcher.
On the trail, they came across a group of young hikers. “I hear one of them go ‘Hey, is that Scott Helman?’ So I turn around and I’m like, 'do you guys really want to help us?’”
The hikers took turns helping carry the stretcher on the rugged portage trail. “We got to this area where the paramedics could get to, so he got some help and then we had to get him onto this chopper,” recalled Helman. “So, to get from where the paramedics were to the chopper we had to carry this guy on a stretcher through knee-high beaver dam water, like muddy swamp water. So, that was intense.”
While Helman is pleased the OPP publicly thanked him and the other hikers, the “Everything Sucks” singer said he and his friends only did what they could. “Honestly, we helped, but these park rangers were incredible and the OPP officer who showed up was really great, too,” he said.
Police said the victim was treated at a local hospital for dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Helman said he has not heard from the man – but is not keen to talk to him anyway after the man said some "weirdly misogynistic, creepy things" to his female friend. "But I’m glad he’s OK."
He said the “wild” incident served as a reminder that backcountry hikers and campers need to be safe and be prepared. He joined the OPP’s call to download the free what3words app, which helps first responders locate people in need of help.
Helman said he doubts he will be giving up music to become a park ranger.
“You know what? After my six-day canoe trip I think I’m good,” he said. “I don’t think I would survive very long out there.”
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