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Niagara Falls
Monday, April 22, 2024
Oops: Stumped hikers rescued on wrong side of federal fence
Two hikers found themselves trapped on the other side of this fence, on federal property the Canadian Department of National Defence once used as a rifle range. EVAN LOREE

Maybe they thought the grass was greener on the other side?

Niagara-on-the-Lake fire chief Jay Plato says he isn’t wholly sure how two men came to be in need of rescuing Monday at about 8:30 p.m.

But the chief let slip a few smiles while relaying the story of how his department responded to a call in the Chautauqua neighbourhood to assist two men who found themselves stuck on the wrong side of a fence.

They appear to have been hikers who somehow wandered into the old federal rifle range on Lakeshore Road, , he said.

He could not say if the two were residents or visitors. In fact, a language barrier between the emergency responders and the two hikers makes it hard to determine much of anything

“It looks like they may have gotten lost and ended up in the DND lands somehow,” he said.

Possibly, they wandered into the area after entering near Niagara Shores Park, he said.

And because that enclosure has barbed wire, “they got to the fence and they got jammed, and were not sure how to get out,” he added.

As Plato tells it, all the volunteer firefighters had to do was lift up the fence from the ground so the hikers could squeeze through. 

He was reluctant to label the call silly.

“You might look at a call afterwards and kind of chuckle about the situation,” he said.

But he maintained that every situation needs to be treated seriously.

“Anytime somebody calls us they believe they’re in their worst moments of life,” he said.

He recommended people have a general idea of where they are and where they are going to avoid similar situations.

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