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Two hikers rescued at Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Apr 06, 2023

Rescue crews used a helicopter to hoist two hikers to safety off of Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo on Thursday.

The call came in at about 12:20 p.m.

"We had two hikers that were uninjured but unfortunately went off the trail and got to the position where they were unable to hike up or hike down from that area and it was too unsafe for them to hike down," said San Luis Obispo City Fire Battalion Chief John MacDonald.

MacDonald says he was able to FaceTime with the hikers, which helped determine their location.

"I was able to communicate with the hikers the whole time. I found out they were uninjured and I could find out their exact location based on their cell phone," he said.

Seven new firefighters with the department just happened to be training at the top of Bishop Peak with members of the Urban Search and Rescue team when the call came in.

"That really helped us out — having people in the area to find the hikers once we made contact with them on the cell phone," MacDonald said.

Once firefighters were able to reach the two hikers, a California Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in removing them from the area.

MacDonald encourages anyone who plans to hike local trails to take precautions.

"Anytime anyone is hiking in the open space here in San Luis Obispo, we want them to communicate with their family and their friends and let them know where they're headed first," he said. "Secondly, stay on all the trails that are throughout the open space. We have well-marked trails. We don't want people to veer off those trails and that's what happened today. Next, we want to make sure that they have water with them, a jacket and food when they're hiking through our open space and then lastly, a cell phone for communication and that really helped us today."