GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A day of biking turned dangerous for a Greensboro woman. Thanks to the Greensboro Trail Response Team, she’s OK.
Mountain biking has been a hobby of Kelly Hassell for the last 15 years. She would even call herself a professional.
“June 16th was a bit of a surprise,” Hassell said.
She and a friend were riding their bicycles along Shady Side Trail on Bur-Mill Road in Greensboro when she lost control of her bike.
“I was just doing my thing, and the last thing I remember, I looked back at something I heard. I looked back forward, and then I was knocked out,” she said.
Her friend instantly called 911. The Trail Response Team, a specialized team with the Greensboro Fire Department, responded.
They were able to find Hassell in about ten minutes because of trail markers along the route every quarter mile.
“The trail is just like a street, and the trail markers are just like a house address, so if it picks up your phone close to that trail marker, we’ll have a good idea of where you are,” Captain Mark Westmoreland said.
Through a detailed satellite image map, the team of four can find routes to quickly get to someone in distress.
“That may have saved us three miles of hiking and biking to go straight to them,” Westmoreland said.
The team deploys with a fire truck, a Polaris, mountain bikes and, in some cases like Hassell’s rescue, a boat.
“Four guys came in. I think they were all on Mountain Bikes. Then I went out on a stretcher to the marina and somehow to the hospital in an ambulance,” Hassell said.
More than a month after the accident, Hassell reunited with the team that saved her. She made a post on Facebook thanking them
“I gave them all a hug. I tried not to cry because I only cry behind closed doors. I was close to tears because I am so grateful not just for me but for friends as well…there’s incidents every now and then, and we certainly appreciate the people who help you out,” she said.
She went to the hospital and is recovering from a concussion, a separated shoulder and road rash.
Friday was her first day back on the trail since the incident. She’s back doing what she loves and is thankful for the team that helped her get there.
“They are angels. They certainly are,” she said.
The Greensboro Trail Response Team makes about 20 rescues like this a year.
They say when on the trails, it’s important to have a good idea where the trail markers are located and to have someone with you.
Most importantly, have your phone nearby so they can find you if needed in a timely manner.