Hours-Long Arkansas Rescue Forges Life-Long Relationship


HARRISON, Arkansas — Arie Britt jokes that when his friends called 911, dispatchers weren’t attending to just another house call.

Arie had slipped and fallen, breaking his femur in the process.

He lie on a riverbed near Twin Devils Fall on the Richland Creek — A remote location in Newton county that first responders would have to hike to in order to save his life.

“We realized this wasn’t going to be easy rescue when I walked through a 2 foot pond within the first 100 feet,” said Charlie Redline.

The 19-year veteran paramedic and a team of others would trek over 5 miles of rough terrain as Arie held on to consciousness. It took over 5 hours.

“I started hearing voices, literally, and they were coming from all different directions,” said Arie Britt. “I knew this was the rescue group that would eventually haul me out.”

Art Gibbons, Newton County Search and Rescue, Tri-County Rescue, the Harrison Fire Department, Buffalo River Search and Rescue, the US Park Service, and many other organizations played a vital role in the rescue.

But it’s Charlie that Arie remembers most.

“The way Charlie took control, and the care he gave me was pretty amazing,” he said.

“He actually came to the hospital while I was in the emergency room, and then he came the next day after my surgery. I think that’s what bonded me to Charlie because he took so much care for someone he didn’t even know.”
Charlie says, “the best part was Mr. Britt coming up to me and shaking my hand, because that does not happen very much in this field.”

And neither do reunions, but hey…. 

“Charlie is my hero. He really is,” Arie said hugging his new-found friend months after the incident.

“Charlie he said we shook hands, but I hugged his neck,” laughed Arie.

“He was a special guy and still is. I give him a lot of credit for what he did.”

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