Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Suicides In Out National Parks Update

In response to a report from the Center For Disease Control and several reader questions I wrote several posts on suicides in National Parks.  In today's National Park Morning Report there is a brief accounting of three such incidents that occurred in Shenandoah National Park just this month.  Kudos and a well done go out to the Ranger Staff at Shenandoah for their intervention and saving of two lives while handling these incidents.

Taken from the June 14, 2011 NPS Morning Report

Shenandoah NP
Rangers Investigate One Suicide, Intervene In Two Others

Rangers successfully intervened in two suicide attempts this spring and
investigated a third in which a woman succeeded in her efforts by driving
her car off Skyline Drive and crashing several hundred feet below:

   On April 29th, a police dispatcher in Harrisonburg received a call from
   a man who said that he was camping on Turk Mountain and was going to
   shoot himself. Park dispatch was contacted and rangers helped the
   Harrisonburg dispatcher talk the man into leaving his weapon at his
   campsite and hiking to Skyline Drive to meet them. They took the man
   into protective custody at the trailhead and transported him to the
   Augusta Medical Center. They then recovered his weapon and all the items
   from his campsite. The man had been hiking the Appalachian Trail in the
   park for a week when he made the call.

   On May 17th, park dispatch was contacted by the sheriff’s office in
   Jefferson County, West Virginia, and advised that a man had called his
   wife and told her that he’d taken enough medication to be dead within 15
   minutes. Rangers determined that the 53-year-old man had registered at
   Skyland Lodge. When they reached his room, several hours after he’d
   called his wife, they found him unconscious in his room and suffering
   from severe respiratory distress. Basic and advanced life support
   measures employed by rangers and Page County rescue personnel greatly
   aided in keeping him alive.

   On June 2nd, a park maintenance crew working at Horsehead Overlook on
   Skyline Drive noticed that vegetation was laid down at the edge of the
   overlook and discovered a vehicle 300 to 400 feet below. Rangers found
   that the sole occupant had not survived the crash and that she had been
   listed as missing and suicidal by police in Farmville the day before. A
   suicide note was found inside along with notes indicating that she’d
   scouted other Shenandoah overlooks that night.

No comments:

Post a Comment