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Video: Firefighter Rappels Down Griffith Park Cliff To Rescue Stranded Hiker

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A hiker stranded on a steep hillside in Griffith Park was rescued by the Los Angeles Fire Department Monday afternoon. A firefighter rappelled down more than one hundred feet to rescue the hiker, who was stranded below the Bee Rock trail near the Old Zoo in Griffith Park.

Brian Humphrey, an LAFD spokesman, told LAist that the department received a call saying there was a man stranded on the hillside from a park ranger at 3:04 p.m.

Humphrey tells LAist that more than 45 personnel were assigned to the rescue operation, including two helicopters. After assessing the situation and seeing that the stranded hiker was uninjured and not in immediate danger, the fire department decided to go ahead with a ground operation, anchoring a pulley and rope to an LAFD pickup truck parked on the trail and then lowering a firefighter down to the hiker to rescue him.

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One of the two helicopters remained in the air to perform aerial reconnaissance and command support, relaying updates to the ground-based units. The LAFD helicopter was also tasked with coordinating the many news media helicopters at the scene, and ensuring that they remained at a safe distance. According Humphrey, news media helicopters vastly outnumbered fire department responders.

The rescue was completed just before 4 p.m. The hiker was uninjured, and he declined any further medical care or attention.

Humphrey tells LAist that rescues in the Santa Monica Mountains are very common, and can "often be a daily occurrence during the warmer months."

"People tend to underestimate the challenge of urban wild lands, and overestimate their abilities," Humphrey said.

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