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‘Distressed’ man rescued after climbing Monument Mountain

The man had entered the Monument Mountain Reservation, climbed to Squaw Peak, stopped at Devil's Pulpit -- a free-standing pillar of stone visible from the Squaw Peak Trail -- and started screaming.

Great Barrington — The fire and police departments responded at about 3 p.m. Monday to what scanner reports described as a “distressed man” who had run across Route 7, from the direction of Monument Mountain Regional High School.

Devil’s Pulpit on Monument Mountain.

According to emergency reports, the man had entered the Monument Mountain Reservation, climbed to Squaw Peak, stopped at Devil’s Pulpit — a free-standing pillar of stone visible from the Squaw Peak Trail — and started screaming.

The man was not responding to calls to his cell phone, but rescuers were able to ping his phone to get a better read on his exact location. At one point, the man made cell phone contact with his mother, who related the conversation to police and first responders.

Shortly before 4 p.m. responders brought the man down and put him in an ambulance. After several minutes, the ambulance pulled out of the reservation parking lot and headed north on Route 7.

After the ambulance left, Great Barrington Fire Chief Charlie Burger declined to comment since it was not a “fire-related” matter. Peter Dillon, superintendent of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, also declined to comment.

On Monday evening, Great Barrington Police Chief Bill Walsh issued a brief statement to the Edge. He said that on Monday afternoon his department “received a report of a male party experiencing some kind of mental distress at the reservation. Police and fire crew located the person and brought him down the mountain and had him evaluated.”

The Great Barrington Fire Department’s UTV returns to its trailer at the Monument Mountain Reservation. Photo: Terry Cowgill

Responders used the parking lot as a staging area but two cruisers and the chief’s car had set a perimeter several hundred feet to the south, along with the fire department’s newly purchased Utility Task Vehicle (UTV), which is fully outfitted with skid plates, a roll cage, scene lighting and a rescue body for carrying a patient and equipment. After the man was put into the ambulance, the UTV was returned to the parking lot and loaded back onto its trailer.

Several Great Barrington police cruisers, Burger’s SUV and the Southern Berkshire Ambulance responded, in addition to the UTV.

This story will be updated as details become available.

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