Paramedic Shows Super Strength

We commend Nick Runions for his outstanding service to our community.

Goose Rock Summit Trail at Deception Pass State Park was where hiker Mary Anderson fell and broke her ankle and tore a ligament. She could not walk and Emergency Medical Services were called in.

“I am the woman that fell that day while hiking on Goose Rock. Nick was truly a superhero,” said the Oak Harbor resident Anderson.

For his feat of incredible strength and ingenuity, EMS Paramedic Nick Runions received a letter of commendation from Jason Armstrong, the area manager for the park and its satellite parks.

“The trail is steep, with varied footing requirements and numerous switchbacks,” wrote Armstrong, “It was apparent the patient had sustained a notable ankle injury and would not be able to extricate herself.”

Onto the scene came Runions and his partner, EMT Tom Cross. Seeing that they would be unable to walk down the trail with the patient, which was not wide enough to accommodate two people side-by-side, Runions did some innovative thinking. The paramedic fashioned a back strap in a way that enabled him to fix Anderson onto his back He then climbed with her back up to the crest of the summit and safely down to the bottom of the trail.

Armstrong’s letter continued:

Mr. Runions exhibited a great deal of compassion and concern for the patient’s well-being. However impressive his compassion and people skills are, they would be overshadowed by his physical condition. Mr. Runions was able to carry the patient to safety by himself. This required a tremendous amount of strength and stamina, as he carried her nearly the entire trip from southeast of the summit to the parking lot at Deception Pass Bridge. The estimated distance is approximately 1.5 miles.

Nick Runions’ professionalism and commitment to service reduced the amount of resources and time it would normally require to remove a patient from this location. As the Area Manager, I want to personally thank Nick for his professionalism and his personal commitment to remain in peak physical condition. These skills are invaluable to his profession and the public.

The letter was presented to Runions at an EMS staff meeting on June 14 by Roger Meyers, Manager of WhidbeyHealth Emergency Medical Services.

In a post on Facebook, Anderson expressed her gratitude:
“I couldn’t possibly sign off without expressing my profound gratitude to Nick and all of the other paramedics and park rangers that came to my aid. I’m looking at an 8-12 week recovery period for a broken ankle and torn ligament. I am quite sure that it would have been a worse scenario without them.”

We commend Nick Runions’ for his great service to our community.