Man Survives Three Nights Trapped Under ATV


CROWSNEST PASS -- A paramedic used to saving the lives of others found himself having to eat rotten meat and fend off coyotes and wolves to ensure his own survival in rough Alberta bush country.
Ken Hildebrand was riding his all-terrain vehicle as he collected animal traps north of the Livingstone Gap, about 130 km southwest of Calgary, last weekend when the quad rolled after hitting a rock and trapped him underneath.
Hildebrand, who has a weak leg due to a bout of polio, landed face down on the ground with his machine pinning his strong leg.
"He was stuck there for four days and three nights - almost 96 hours straight," said Troy Linderman, director of Crowsnest Pass emergency medical services.
Hildebrand kept himself alive - albeit sick - by melting snow to drink and eating the rotting meat of the animals he had collected.

He faced constant harassment from coyotes and wolves, Linderman said, but was able to keep them away by constantly blowing a whistle he had with him.
Hildebrand made several attempts to get out from under the quad, including using an axe to pry it off, but he didn't have enough leverage to move it off his leg.
"He had told some people where he was going, so people knew he was overdue," Linderman said. "Several people looked for him, but they couldn't find him."
Last Wednesday, as Hildebrand was entering his fourth day of being trapped, he began to accept the fact he might not be found before the cold, malnourishment or animals claimed him. It was soon after that two hikers from Pincher Creek found him.
After a night in the Crowsnest Pass hospital, he was transferred to Lethbridge, where he has undergone several operations to treat frostbite and injuries to his legs.
"It's amazing that he's alive. I can't believe it," Linderman said. "Ken's as tough as nails."
Despite hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and leg injuries, Hildebrand's only concern after his rescue was not making his next paramedic shift, Linderman said.
Hildebrand's injuries aren't described as life-threatening, but there is a chance the trapped leg might have to be amputated.
Hildebrand teaches first aid and heavy equipment at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, and has property in the Crowsnest Pass.
Just read about this on the CTV sight. He is soooo lucky to be alive. Without his background he would not have been alive to be found by the hiker.
I heard about this the other day.... and saw him on tv today.... the foot is not looking good at all.... sad thing is.. he had polio as a child..and the foot that might have to be amputated is his good one.. so he may end up in a wheel chair...
I just watched a T.V. account of this story tonight- an amazing story of survival, guts and determination and a whole lot of luck at the end. He encountered pretty much every kind of adversity imaginable.

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