Stricken hiker airlifted from Long Trail

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BENNINGTON COUNTY — Multiple rescue crews and others worked together over several hours on Tuesday to rescue a hiker who suffered a medical event while hiking on the Long Trail in Bennington County.

Crews involved in what a state police spokesman described as a complicated rescue came from both Vermont and New York.

The incident was reported shortly after noon that Alden Summers Jones, 41, of Bennington, had suffered a medical event while hiking on the Long Trail in a remote location between Arlington and Sunderland. The precise location was unclear from initial reports, and it took rescue crews several hours to locate the hiker. Due to the remote location, the Vermont State Police requested assistance from the New York State Police Aviation Unit in Albany, which dispatched a helicopter along with members of the New York State Police and New York State Forest Rangers.

The New York-based crews arrived at about 7 p.m., when a ranger was lowered from the helicopter and secured the individual onto a litter before being hoisted out of the woods and taken to a waiting ambulance. Deerfield Valley Rescue transported the man to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, where he was treated and later transported to Albany Medical Center in New York.

Due to the length of the rescue and the distance from the nearest road, several rescuers decided the safest option was to spend the night recuperating in a shelter on the Long Trail about a mile from the incident location. All rescuers were safely out of the woods by 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Organizations that participated in the rescue operation included Deerfield Valley Rescue, Rescue Inc., the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Vermont State Police, the Wardsboro Fire Department, the Wilmington Fire Department, the New York State Police, and New York State Forest Rangers. The Vermont State Police also received assistance from several licensed amateur radio operators who helped facilitate communications, greatly assisting in the rescue.

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