Teen rescued from fall into ravine behind Oakville High School

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Monday afternoon, a 15-year-old boy fell down a ravine on the lower parking lot behind Oakville High School.  He had to be rescued by first responders.

Brian Hendricks is Mehlville Fire Protection Chief.

“It's one of those things,” said Chief Hendricks.  “A 15-year-old kid trying to do something he thought was going to be fun and ended up falling about 50 feet down a steep cliff.  He's lucky to be alive. “

Hendricks said the boy did not sustain any broken bones.

“It's a very steep section, lots of debris,” he said.  “There's a ton of cinder blocks.  You can tell people have been dumping stuff there.  It appears he lost his footing and went head over heels a pretty good distance.  He was down there about 55 feet.”

Hendricks said the boy was not able to make his way back up the hillside.

“No, he was non-weight bearing, and he is a pretty good-size boy,” said Hendricks.  “It’s just safer for our crews to do it.  It's tedious, it's time-consuming, but this is the safest way to extricate someone out of a situation like this.”

Fire crews carried this out in the heat and humidity.

“In a rescue scenario like this, they're just wearing their helmets, their harnesses,” said Chief Hendricks.  “But still, all the personal protective equipment they have to take with them; all their self-rescue devices they have to carry, it puts an additional ten pounds on you.  Plus the rigors of getting down there, getting back up, concentrating while you're there.  We take the heat very seriously and take appropriate steps to make sure our people are safe.”

Mehlville School District officials say the hillside is not district property, and the boy and his friends were not there for a school-related activity.  Also, Hendricks said they were not playing Pokémon “Go.”