Teenager injured in cliff jump - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Teenager injured in cliff jump

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South Burlington, Vermont - July 7, 2010

On a hot summer day South Burlington firefighters say you can find about a hundred teenagers and young adults jumping off the cliffs at Red Rocks Park.

"Huge adrenaline rush. I mean it's awesome," says Andrew Barden, who spent Wednesday afternoon jumping off the cliffs.

Jumpers can choose from three different heights; 20 feet, 40 feet, and 76 feet.

"I still haven't done the 76er. I haven't gotten there yet. I will someday but not yet," says Ryan Somers, another cliff jumper.

It was the 40-foot cliff firefighters say a 19-year-old jumped from Wednesday afternoon and got hurt. The young man told responders he landed in the water awkwardly and complained of chest pain. No details were available about his injury, but he was able to walk into the ambulance on his own.

Rescuers say it is frustrating for them to respond to calls for injured jumpers because it requires a lot of manpower and equipment.

"The city has invested a lot of money into the resources we need to be able to adequately respond to this type of incident," says Captain Matt Vinci, of the South Burlington Fire Department.

It is often a challenge for responders to locate an injured person and bring them to safety. Another frustration is the lack of regard the jumpers have for the dangers of what they are doing.

When asked if he ever worried about the danger Somers responded, "No. Never. I never worry about hitting the water. I mean, you're going to go in. It's not going to hurt."

Signs posted throughout the park clearly indicate jumping is not allowed because of the possibility of hitting rocks below the water. But neither they, nor minor injuries can stop the thrill-seekers. James Minor says he has no qualms about jumping again even though he cut his foot open during a landing Wednesday.

"Next time I'll just come more prepared and bring some flip-flops or shoes to jump with again," he says.

It means it is just a matter of time before firefighters get called to the cliffs again.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

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