READING, Pa. – A Boy Scout troop came to the rescue of a hiker who had fallen and hit her head on the Appalachian Trail, building a stretcher from scratch and carrying her 3 miles to help.
Jane B. Scholl of Mohnton was hiking on Blue Mountain in northern Berks County with a friend Saturday. As the two reached the Pinnacle, a popular overlook, Scholl was looking for a good spot to take pictures when she fell about 5 feet.
"I landed right on my eye," she said Sunday. "I was cut and bleeding and felt really woozy."
Scholl, 41, and the friend started down the mountain, but Scholl began to feel worse. That's when they ran into Boy Scout Troop 226 from Rockledge in Montgomery County.
"As we were hiking back down we caught up to her and that's when we saw that she was bleeding," scoutmaster Christopher J. Gallagher said.
The eight Scouts built a stretcher from tree branches and their sweat shirts.
"We took sticks, shoved them into each sleeve and made it long enough for her body to fit on. We carried her three miles," Eagle Scout Andrew Swartz Jr. said.
Gallagher had called for help on his cell phone and the troop was met by medics who began treatment. Scholl was then taken to a helicopter waiting to fly her to Reading Hospital, where she was treated for a concussion and cuts and bruises and released Sunday.
When Troop 226 returned Sunday, members were met by a cheering crowd and a band featuring drummers and bagpipes.
"I feel really good. It's nice to know I helped someone out in their time of need," scout Bill Bowman said.