An elderly man suffered serious injuries after he fell 30 feet down into a dry creek bed along the San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto on Saturday, a fire official said.
Around 3 p.m., firefighters responded to a report from a witness who saw the man fall down into the creek bed near Palo Alto Avenue and Waverley Street, fire Battalion Chief Ryan Stoddard said.
Four firefighters made their way to the man, who was in his 80s, by going down a narrow foot path about 500 yards from where he fell and performed first aid on him, Stoddard said.
Crews determined they needed to conduct a side-angle rope rescue based on the creek's conditions and steep slope, Stoddard said.
In less than an hour, they prepared the rope system, which involved lowering a Stokes basket where the man was secured, and raised up to the street, according to Stoddard.
"It was pretty fast for a situation like that to get all the ropes (ready)," Stoddard said.
The injured man was transferred to a gurney and taken to Stanford Hospital. He appeared to have broken his pelvis and ribs, the battalion chief said.
Stoddard did not know why the man was standing close to the edge or walking around in the area.
"It's always wise to be careful when you're around the creek bed," Stoddard said, and advised the public to be extra cautious if they're near any edge following rainfall.