Neighbors and local emergency responders collaborated Sunday afternoon in the rescue of a Decorah man in a remote area near Hesper.
Rob Bolson was cutting wood on land he owns between county road W-40 and Middle Hesper Road when he was struck by a falling tree. He was able to crawl or somehow make his way to an area where he had cellphone reception and called a neighbor, who called 911, according to Winneshiek County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Marx.
The Decorah Law Enforcement Center received the call at 12:26 p.m.
"He was on a very steep hill. It was a bad spot," Marx commented.
Luckily neighbors knew exactly where the accident had taken place and had reached Bolson before emergency responders arrived. The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Department, Decorah Fire Department, Winneshiek Medical Center Ambulance, and Mabel Fire Department were all called. When they arrived, neighbors advised them the best way to reach Bolson was from a logging road at the Virgil Losen residence, 3512 Middle Hesper Road.
Paramedics and firefighters transported Bolson on one of the Decorah Fire Department's all-terrain vehicles to a field, clear of trees and power lines, where the Mayo 1 helicopter landed and then airlifted him to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Bolson was listed in fair condition Wednesday morning.
Marx commended the neighbors for the immediate response when they heard about Bolson's accident.
"That's the great part of living in Winneshiek County ... they were there immediately. They don't sit back - they do what they need to do," the deputy said.
Considering the number of entities involved, there was good cooperation, according to Marx.
"They worked well together. It was difficult to get him out, but everybody did an excellent job."