It was a busy
holiday weekend for the Porter Fire Department, which responded to multiple
calls at Indiana Dunes State Park as well as to a pair of fires.
The PFD first
responded to IDSP around 3:30 p.m. Friday, after a male subject was reported
to have suffered heat exposure on Trail 9 past the Blowout. Firefighters
succeeded in finding the gentleman and were transporting him by ATV to an
ambulance staged at the Pavilion when, at 4:08 p.m., they were flagged down
by a couple trapped atop a high dune overlooking the lake.
predicament: although they had managed to climb the dune, a pre-existing
injury was preventing the woman from safely descending it on her own, Craig
said. Because the couple was well hydrated and in no immediate danger,
firefighters told them to hold tight until they could get the man on the ATV
to the ambulance and then return to the scene. Which they did a few minutes
later, to assist the woman in sliding down the dune with a minimum of
complication to her injury. Firefighters then transported the couple by ATV
to their vehicle parked at the Nature Center. The PFD cleared the scene at
The PFD was
dispatched a second time to IDSP at 11:37 a.m. Saturday, when a male subject
attempting the Three-Dune Challenge became overheated near the top of a
dune. Firefighters were staging to make the climb when a female subject also
taking the Challenge fainted away in front of them, Craig said.
rendered assistance to the woman until she regained consciousness but in the
process two Porter Memorial Hospital EMS personnel also began showing
symptoms of heat exposure, Craig said. In the meantime, Craig, responding to
the original call, could only get his ATV part way up the dune, but was
fortunate to have the aid of two Good Samaritans, a man and a woman from
Valparaiso, who not only lugged rescue gear to the top of the dune but also
helped to transport the man down. “We couldn’t have done it without them,”
Craig said. The PFD cleared the scene at 1:18 p.m.
The PFD responded a
third time to IDSP at 6:57 p.m. Saturday, when a male subject aboard a
22-foot boat floating some distance off the shoreline reported chest pain.
The boaters were able to run the craft close to the buoy line, where Craig
himself and several lifeguards pulled it by hand to shore. The man was then
taken off the boat and carried to a waiting ambulance, Craig said. The PFD
cleared the scene at 7:25 p.m.
The PFD responded
one final time to IDSP at 8:03 a.m. Sunday, after a male subject on the
beach either broke or dislocated his arm. Craig was unable to say how. The
man was transported by car to the Dune State Park main gate and from there
by ambulance to hospital. The PFD cleared that scene at 8:18 a.m.
Two Weekend Fires
But the PFD
responded as well to a pair of fires over the weekend.
The first was a
brush fire on the north side of the Prairie Duneland Trail between 23rd
Street and Pearson Road, reported at 5:23 p.m. Saturday. Craig said that the
affected area was approximately 20’ x 5’ in size and firefighters used 20 to
30 gallons of water from a brush truck to extinguish it.
The cause of the
fire is unknown but Craig saw nothing to think it suspicious. The PFD
cleared the scene at 5:41 p.m.
The second was a
residential fire in the 200 block of South DeWitt Place in Beverly Shores,
at 5:55 p.m. Sunday. Craig said that a malfunctioning propane tank ignited a
grill on the back deck, which ignited the deck itself and then the side of
the house. No one was injured in the blaze, which the Beverly Shores FD
doused with assistance from the PFD, responding under an automatic aid
The PFD cleared the
scene at 6:22 p.m.