TOWNSHIP E – Multiple fire departments and rescue teams were called to Smalls Falls on Thursday afternoon to carry a 12-year-old girl down a section of the upper falls off Route 4.

The girl was on a field trip with a local church camp when she slipped on some rocks and was carried between 100 and 150 feet down a flatter section of the falls, Phillips firefighter Ann Hudson said Friday.

“They managed to get her up onto a rock or a plateau, and when the medical people got there, they were able to package her, and it was basically just a short carry out,” Rangeley Fire Chief Rudy Davis said Friday.

The girl’s injuries were minor, Hudson said. She was taken by ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

Phillips and Rangeley NorthStar ambulance crews were the first on the scene, Davis said.

Last summer, a 3-year-old boy was carried down a steeper section of the falls and was found unconscious in a pool of water. Camp counselors and first responders gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and he recovered from his injuries.

Norm Haggan of the Maine Department of Transportation, which oversees the rest area at the falls, said his department has no plans to put a pay phone there.

On Thursday, only sketchy information could originally be given to emergency dispatchers, since there isn’t a pay phone or cell phone coverage in the area.

“I’m sure if we put a phone out there it’d be a vandalism target,” Haggan said. “We’d love to have cell towers in the area,” he added.

He said the department has tried to discourage swimming or climbing rocks in potentially dangerous areas at Smalls Falls before, with no real success. “We’ve put fences up, and they climb over fences,” he said. “It’s pretty tough to get people to stop climbing; they see a challenge in climbing up a beautiful rock face and diving into some nice cool water,” he said.

“I don’t blame ’em. I did it too when I was a kid.”



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