AEGIS STAFF REPORT
4:47 PM EDT, May 28, 2013
A 12-year-old Havre de Grace girl remains hospitalized after sustaining "significant" injuries from a fall from the King & Queen Seat in Rocks State Park Saturday, several emergency information sources said.
Three Department of Natural Resources Park Service workers also suffered minor injuries during the rescue attempt, Sgt. Brian Albert, spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, said.
The girl, who was not identified, fell between 40 and 50 feet from the south side of the rock outcropping that is popular with climbers but has a history of falls ending in serious injury and death, the Harford Fire & EMS Association reported on its media Facebook page.
"My information is she fell all the way to the bottom," Albert said. The call for help was received at about 3:30 p.m.
Once rescuers reached her, "the girl was prepped, packaged and taken by a fire department Gator to waiting medic unit," Rich Gardiner, spokesman for the Harford Fire & EMS Association, wrote in an e-mail.
The girl was flown to a Johns Hopkins Pediatric Emergency Center in Baltimore by a Maryland State Police Medevac, according to Albert, who said she was listed in stable condition.
On Monday, Albert said she had some internal injuries and numerous fractures but no head trauma, and she was expected to be in the hospital for a week or two, after which she would need occupational or physical therapy.
Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company responded to the scene, according to Harford Fire Blog on Facebook.
The company wrote that the girl, who firefighters said is from Havre de Grace, suffered a pelvic fracture but is expected to make a full recovery.
Albert said the injuries suffered by the three park personnel were "very minor" and that only one of the workers sought medical treatment.
"The formation is popular for many to climb on, rappel off, etc. Most every summer there is at least one incident of someone suffering a variety of fall injuries from this location," the Fire & EMS Association wrote on Facebook later on Saturday.
Margit Pruett, manager of Rocks, Susquehanna and Palmer state parks, said the park may be open to considering some type of change or protective action in response to the incident.
"We haven't had enough time between the incident to talk about it," Pruett said. "I do know that education is probably the most important thing, is having people understand that it is a beautiful area but it is an area that could be dangerous just based on what it is."
"Since this weekend, we have had discussions and we don't have any final end to the discussions," she said.
She noted, however, it was the first injury of its kind this year in the park, which saw 155,000 visitors in 2012.
The last incident she recalled was in 2007, when a couple of young men were climbing and one had to be rescued after his friend fell and he became frightened.
A couple of injuries were also reported in recent years, mostly broken ankles, from swimmers jumping off Kilgore Falls.
Pruett, who called the latest King & Queen's Seat fall "an unfortunate accident," said it is very tricky for the park to strike a balance between protecting the public and allowing people to take risks if they want.
"Everyone has a different risk tolerance. What's risky to one person is not risky to another," she said. "Our job is to provide recreational opportunities to both types of visitors."
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