Sleeping Giant dangerous for unprepared hikers - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sleeping Giant dangerous for unprepared hikers

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Sleeping Giant State Park. (WSFB File) Sleeping Giant State Park. (WSFB File)
HAMDEN, Conn. (WFSB) -

Twisted ankles, broken bones and hikers lost on trails.

Hamden's fire department says they get all types of calls to Sleeping Giant State Park, and with the weather improving, the number of calls is going up.

The department said they've seen a jump just this week.

In fact, they had to respond for an injured hiker three days in a row.

Channel Three's Matt McFarland spoke with officials about how that happened.

It was a perfect day for a hike and Sleeping Giant was packed with folks looking to do just that.

Back home visiting friends and family for the holiday weekend, Ayne Darley headed to the Giant.

"I'm an avid hiker so [I] obviously have my camel back, treats and food just in case. This isn't anything too crazy," hiker Ayne Darley said.

But for some these trails can be too much.

"It helps to have done it before, helps if you can walk a few miles. Don't come if you're not prepared," said Rick Piotrowski of Stonington.

"Since the beginning of the year we've had about 11 different rescues at Sleeping Giant, however we've had four this week alone," Battalion Chief John Spencer said.

Spencer said their crews train for this, and they've seen it all, with lost hikers and those who get stuck in the dark on the mountain after the sun goes down.

"We've come across everything from people who are lost in the dark and hypothermic, to people with twisted, broken ankles to more severe injuries for people who've had significant falls," Spencer said.

And every time they head out it takes up quite a few resources, sending at least two engines, technical gear like ropes and harnesses, along with an A-T-V.

"Sometimes its frustrating, but this is what we do, that's what we're here for. People need us, we're happy to help," Spencer said.

He stressed that hikers should be prepared. This means having the right shoes, a map and making sure cellphones are charged.

Spencer also said people should tell a friend or family member where they are going and when they expect to be back.

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