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Sandy city officials urging hikers to be more prepared

SANDY – Sandy city officials are warning hikers heading to the Bell Canyon Trails that they need to be ready for any potential problems.  The number of rescues needed to find people lost or stranded on the trails has gone up this year.

Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan held a press conference at 10 this morning, saying that have already sent rescue crews up the mountains seven times this year.  Later this afternoon, two more people in different hiking parties needed help coming down the mountain.  Dolan says, “[Hikers] are not dressed for it.  They don’t have enough water and they take risks they shouldn’t be taking.”

The two that were rescued today were treated for exhaustion.

Sandy Fire Chief Bruce Cline says they’re especially concerned since these rescues are happening so early in the season.  He adds, “It’s very time consuming to get somebody off the mountain, and it changes lives when somebody gets hurt up there.”

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Search and rescue officials say there are several more things hikers need to do before going up.  Commander Wayne Bassham says, “If you do hike alone, let somebody know where you’re going to go.  Look at the weather and dress accordingly.  Take plenty of water and food along with you.”

Also, he says hikers should plan specifically which trails they will use, and they should never deviate from that plan.