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Firefighters perform rescue on Vermillion River cliffs

The Hastings Fire Department, Hastings Police and State Patrol joined forces yesterday to rescue a 20-year-old St. Paul man from a fall he had taken off a cliff just west of the old railroad trestle over the Vermillion River.

Three young males were at the top of the cliff. Reportedly, one went to sit down, leaned against a log and lost his balance, falling over the edge, said fire and EMS director Mike Schutt. He fell about 30 feet to a small ledge on the side of the cliff. Emergency responders received the call at about 6:15 p.m.

A nearby state trooper made his way to the ledge and provided care while the fire department set up rigging. Firefighters rappelled over the side to reach the victim and provided first aid on the ledge before securing him in a stokes basket and hoisting him up. He was airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

"Human error was definitely a factor here," Schutt said.

It had still been light out at the time of the fall, but the rescue was largely performed in the dark, Schutt said.

Katrina Styx

Katrina Styx started working at the Hastings Star Gazette 2010 as a reporter. She became the editor in 2016. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.

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