Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)

Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

A Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue swift water training exercise left a firefighter with a broken leg on Wednesday.

Fire Chief Howard Exner said the incident serves as a warning of how dangerous rivers can be, particularly during the freshet season, which is beginning.

Exner said his crews were training in Golden Ears Provincial Park, in the Lower Falls area of Gold Creek. It is an area from which emergency responders get numerous calls each year for swift water rescues. The firefighter, a veteran member, got his foot wedged between two boulders under water, and his leg was broken by the current.

“The energy of the river pushed him in the wrong direction, and broke his leg,” said Exner.

His co-workers were able to help the injured man to shore, and he was transported to a parking lot on a Polaris Ranger UTV equipped for litter carries. He was then taken to hospital by ambulance. The accident happened at about 11 a.m.

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows SAR uses helicopters to rescue pair of hikers in Golden Ears park

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue aid woman stranded by waterfall

Exner said freshet, the annual spring melt, raises water levels and makes rivers more dangerous.

“This isn’t the time to be playing in the river,” he said. “If you don’t have a PFD (personal flotation device) you shouldn’t be within 10 feet of the river. And nor should your pet.”

His teams have rescued dogs stuck in local rivers in the past.

Exner said injuries in firefighter training are not unheard of.

“As with a lot of the calls first responders go to, there is an inherent risk.”


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Maple RidgeSearch and Rescue

Just Posted

The new emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Conference Centre is slated to open June 8. (Screenshot from Province of BC video)
Expanded emergency department slated to open in June at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Project cost $15 million with an additional $1.25 million donated for equipment

Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary School closed until May 25 after 10-day exposure. (File photo)
Entire population of Abbotsford Christian Middle & Secondary recommended for testing after COVID cluster

Several staff and students affected after continuous 10-day exposure; campuses closed until May 25

People take part in the Father’s Day Walk Run for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC in Chilliwack on June 21, 2015. This year’s event will still go ahead, but will not be an organized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Progress file)
Awareness, funds for prostate cancer still needed in pandemic, says Chilliwack man

People to walk/run their own route for Father’s Day fundraiser event for prostate cancer

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Rosedale tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

RCMP Supt. Bryon Massie, officer in charge UFVRD, and Sgt. Mike Sargent of Agassiz Community Policing holding awards from the recent ‘Recognizing Excellence’ ceremony. (RCMP)
Salute to local officers during National Police Week in the Fraser Valley

Exceptional performances and selfless acts noted during the ‘Recognizing Excellence’ awards

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after one person was killed and two others were injured during a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Man, 23, killed in latest Lower Mainland shooting had gang ties: IHIT

Jaskeert Kalkat was one of the three people hit by gunfire at Market Crossing mall at around 8:30 p.m.

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect who allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at a family in a Richmond drive-through on May 1. (Benjamin Wong/Screen grab)
Suspect at large in racist tirade at Richmond drive-thru, says RCMP

The Caucasian man was recorded May 1 yelling anti-Asian slurs at a Richmond family in the lineup

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Most Read