Off-duty deputy aids fall victim before dramatic helicopter rescue


sdfd rescue helicopter cliffside fall cliff rescue

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SAN DIEGO -- An off-duty deputy rushed to help a man who fell nearly 100 feet from a University Heights cliff Sunday afternoon.

Video shows the man being hoisted by a helicopter after falling sometime before 1 p.m.

Before rescue workers stepped in, Charles Schioldager, a San Diego Sheriff's deputy, said he was simply in the right place at the right time.

“I live just right over here. There was a couple people yelling ‘hey hey!’ [I] came over and they said there was a guy standing there a second ago and then he disappeared, so I ran and got my medic bag and ran down there,” Schioldager said. 

Schioldager managed to make his way safely down the steep cliff to help the man.

“He had a pretty bad open head wound so all I could really do was get some gauze on there to stop the bleeding,” Schioldager said. 

Schioldager applied pressure until San Diego Fire-Rescue Department crews took over. Within minutes, fire officials said the patient was flown to the hospital with a major head injury. Rescuers successfully did their job, but they give a lot of credit to witnesses and Schioldager.

“As far as I’m concerned, the fact that he went down there and somebody said that he was there and then he wasn’t. If he would have just blown that off, that guy could very well still be down there and could have died down there,” SDFRD Battalion Chief Robert Hartman said. 

“Ah thank you, but it’s just part of the job,” Schioldager said of the praise. 

The condition of the man who was rescued was not disclosed.

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