Union College students helped guide dispatch after teen falls at Preserve

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Six Union College students jumped into action after hearing cries for help when a teenager fell at the Plotter Kill Preserve.

Carly Sinnott, 17, fell 50 ft. at the Plotter Kill Preserve Tuesday night. She did early Wednesday morning.

“Biggest thing is to make sure that they’re aware of their environment,” Plotterkill Fire Chief John Tobiassen said. “Where they’re going; where their location is. Definitely wear proper clothing. So many times they are not properly dressed.”

Carly J. Sinnott
Carly J. Sinnott

Tobiassen also said to make sure hikers’ cell phones are charged, so if something does happen, they have enough battery to call 911 and stay on the phone.

“We did have other individuals who did actually hear the cry for help,” Tobiassen. “Basically, had walked over to the trail and actually made the contact with dispatch to help us out there.”

Six Union College students happened to be on the trail while the incident was unfolding. Kevin Pollio was one of them.

“Six of us were just walking through the woods, and we heard a scream for help just by the second waterfall,” he recalled.

That’s when the group jumped into action to help however they could. They are not certified nor know much about first aid. The group called emergency services and went down the terrain to help the 17 year old.

“We did as much as we could, and that was it,” Pollio said.

Pollio and his friends were still shaken up on Wednesday by what happened, and they were sad to hear of Sinnott’s passing. But they said they’re glad they were there to help while they could.”

“It makes us feel good that we did help,” Pollio said. “Anything we could do to help.”

The chief said the boys were helpful in calling dispatch.

“That was a tremendous help because it really helped us localize, focus on where the individuals were and saved a lot of time from having to really sit down and find out where they were and then go from there,” Tobiassen said.

But the chief also has a word of warning for hikers.

“I can’t stress enough: stay on the trails,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

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