From previous hikes, Sharon E. Larson knew the topography of Camden Hills State Park, before she took her first step on the wooden footbridge; which marked the beginning of Megunticook Trail.

“The call, (911 dispatch to respond to Mount Battie for an injured hiker), came in just as I signed in—so around a quarter to four,” Camden Police Officer Paul Thompson explained minutes after Larson, 66, of Belfast, had been placed in the North East Mobile Health Services ambulance for transport to Pen Bay Medical Center. “We got here around 4 and we were up there ever since. We had a few hikers along the way, who misled, (provided an inaccurate location), half of the group, so we had to backtrack a little bit to get back to her.”

As units were dispatched, it became clear rescue personnel were having difficulty pinpointing the woman's exact position. At one point, a dispatcher named Ocean Lookout as the woman's location.

Poor quality radio transmission signals combined with misdirection from hikers complicated finding the injured woman's location, Officer Thompson explained. Despite a signal repeater on the mountain, radio communications were spotty; sometimes clear, sometimes inaudible.

“At some points it's clear,” Officer Thompson said. “At some places, on the other side of the mountain, you couldn't hear anything. Our cellphones all worked, so we stayed in constant communications. She was right on the main trail. I don't know where she fell off exactly. By the time we got there, the other crew had already gotten to her, had secured her and wrapped her up. It was getting pretty cold.”

Taking advantage of blue skies, brisk winds and frosty temperatures, Larson, decided to spend the afternoon of the last Friday, in October, hiking, the moderately rated, one-mile trail, alone, Camden Fire Department Chief Chris Farley explained, Monday morning at the fire station. The trail, he noted, is steep at places; and she didn't bring along a cellphone.

It takes about an hour to ascend the 1,000 feet to Ocean Lookout. From its ledges, hikers can see the summit of Mount Battie, the Penobscot Bay, Camden, Acadia, Monhegan Island; and on a clear day, see Mount Washington on the western horizon, according to the Camden Hills State Park website.

NEMHS EMS crew; CFD fire and rescue personnel and CPD Officer Thompson, established a staging area at a footbridge, located several hundred yards west of the Camden Hills State Park main entrance gate. The site of the woman's fall was estimated to be a mile and half or a bit more from the ambulance. About 5:30 p.m., the rescue team alerted emergency medical personnel at the staging area that they expected to arrive within 10-20 minutes.

Sitting on the passenger seat of the ambulance, a man identified by a member of the EMS team as the woman's husband, (Arlin T. Larson, 73, according to search results from,waited anxiously for updates on the rescue team's progress. About 5:40 p.m., he stepped out of the cab to ask the ambulance attendant for an update.

While standing about 10 feet from the footbridge, the injured woman's husband declined to share his or his wife's name. Under the circumstance, his reluctance to share personal information with the media was understandable; even though, he acknowledged that he was aware that the police report would include the name, age and address of his wife.

However, he did say that his wife was not a stranger to the topography of Megunticook Trail; which includes some steep inclines. Mishaps, sometimes happen in familiar places, when individuals feel comfortable and confident, he said.

About 5:45-5:50 p.m., a faint bobbing light appeared and disappeared intermittently, in the dark woods, as the rescue crew steadily made its way down the weaving trail. After arriving at the waiting ambulance, the team of about five or six emergency crew, who had carried the stretcher down the rugged path, hoisted her into patient compartment, making sure she was secured. Her husband accompanied her in the ambulance to the medical center.

Chief Farley said neither the exact location where the woman fell off the trail; nor what precipitating factors may have caused the fall, were known. At the scene, EMS personnel assessed the woman's injury, an injured leg; wrapped her in insulated blankets to prevent possible hypothermia; secured her to an EMT spinal backboard, making her as comfortable as possible, before beginning the descent to the staging area.

The rescue team included about 10 members of CFD; two EMS from NEMHS; and five or six volunteer mountain rescue members, Chief Farley said. Except for the initial difficulty in determining the injured woman's exact location; and unreliable emergency band radio signals; members of the rescue team worked well together and were able to clear the scene at 6 p.m., about two hours from the time of the initial dispatch.