Stacey Heaver, a freshman at Gettysburg College, had an exciting spring break, and it had nothing to do with beer or the beach.
Heaver, a 2011 graduate of , is a member of the college's Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB).
The GRAB students, who are trained as wilderness first responders, spent their spring break at Red River Gorge in Kentucky participating in an intensive climbing program and learning about highline rescues.
Just days before they were slated to leave the gorge, they were asked to hike several miles to attempt to rescue a woman who had fallen off a cliff, according to a news release.
The students immediately responded, hiking to the cliff with members of the local search and rescue team and paramedics. After setting up the necessary rigging, the students were able to safely rescue the injured woman from the bottom of the cliff, where she had been for 15 hours. The group then transported her two miles through woods to safety.
"On the trail, I was most energized by the synergy of the group and ease with which everyone changed roles when someone needed a break," Heaver told Patch.
"I was nervous hiking in without knowing what to expect, but once we began the transport everyone was completely focused as adrenaline kicked in," Heaver said. "When we reached the parking lot again, I couldn’t believe we’d actually been out for hours."
Local law enforcement said that it was one of the smoothest rescue operations they had ever seen, according to a news release.
"Due to our students' training, medical backgrounds, and familiarity with climbing and rescue equipment, we were well-positioned to be of assistance," said John Regentin, director of experiential education at Gettysburg College.
"This was an opportunity that presented itself, and the students used their training, jumped to action, and were able to help local authorities rescue someone in need," Regentin said.
Heaver said she is majoring in biology and hopes to go to veterinary school when she graduates.