Injured hiker rescued at Monadnock State Park

Rescuers gather on the the White Dot Trail at Monadnock State Park to assist injured hiker Cynthia Bissell.

Rescuers gather on the the White Dot Trail at Monadnock State Park to assist injured hiker Cynthia Bissell. PHOTO COURTESY NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME

A New Hampshire Army National Guard arrives to rescue Cynthia Bissell, who injured her head in a fall at Monadnock State Park.

A New Hampshire Army National Guard arrives to rescue Cynthia Bissell, who injured her head in a fall at Monadnock State Park. —PHOTO COURTESY NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME

Rescuers and a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter at Monadnock State Park.

Rescuers and a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter at Monadnock State Park. NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME

Staff Reports

Published: 09-22-2023 9:23 AM

A hiker was rescued by a New Hampshire Army National Guard helicopter from Monadnock State Park Tuesday after injuring her head in a fall.

According to a statement from New Hampshire Fish and Game, at approximately 1:52 p.m., conservation officers responded to an injured hiker at the park. Cynthia Bissell, 65, of Barre, Mass. was descending the White Dot Trail just above the upper junction when she fell and sustained a serious head injury.

Bissell’s hiking companion called for help, and a Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Mountain Patrol ranger and a volunteer at the park who were nearby hiked to Bissell’s location. The Mountain Patrol ranger, who is an EMT, requested a medical helicopter due to the seriousness of Bissell’s injuries.

Bissell was placed in a litter and with the help of passing hikers was carried down the White Dot Trail to the nearest landing zone. At 2:50 p.m., the Dartmouth Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) helicopter attempted to pick up Bissell, but had to abort its attempt to land due to inclement weather that had moved in.

Conservation officers then reached out to the New Hampshire Army National Guard to see if they would be able to pick up Bissell using a helicopter hoist. Conservation officers and members of Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team continued hiking to Bissell’s location in the event that a helicopter extraction was not possible.

At 4:45 p.m, the weather conditions at the summit had improved, and the Army National Guard helicopter was able to land and pick up Bissell. By 5:05 p.m., the helicopter had transferred Bissell to Concord Hospital. According to Fish and Game, the helicopter extraction resulted in Bissell reaching hospital care several hours sooner than if she had to be carried down the mountain by rescuers.

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