Posse Rescues Injured Youth

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An 11-year-old Pine-Strawberry girl got an unexpected horseback ride Wednesday after she twisted her ankle on a school hike.

The girl was reportedly hiking with 29 fourth- and fifth-grade Pine-Strawberry students on the Donahue Trail, just south of Pine near Milk Ranch Point, when she injured her ankle roughly two miles up the trail, said Earl Chitwood, commander of the Gila County Mounted Posse.

Luckily, Margaret Bullard was one of four chaperones. Bullard, a teacher at P-S Elementary School, is also a member of Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, the mounted posse and an EMT.

Bullard had her search and rescue gear with her — including a radio.

Bullard quickly radioed, realizing she needed help to carry the girl back to the trailhead.

“That is long way to hop on one foot,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood called on his closest posse member, Pine resident and posse treasurer, Mike Greer, who promptly saddled up his horse.

Greer took the girl back to the trailhead where she got a ride to the hospital, Chitwood said.

The mission ran smoothly thanks in part to Bullard’s preparedness, Chitwood said.

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