The Department of Natural Resources has identified the worker badly hurt in a fall from a high bluff Thursday. D-N-R Wildlife Biologist Terry Haindfield says 42-year-old Steve Gastfield, a wildlife technician, was working out in the field on a critical wildlife habitat area, cutting some trees off a bluff, when he fell off the bluff, about 35 feet. He says it’s rough terrain out there, at least a mile from the nearest road. It was not only down the bluff but in a wooded area, along the Upper Iowa River.
Haindfield praised the Decorah fire volunteers and Winneshiek County E-M-T workers for their work getting Gastfield out of the area. Knowing it would be a tough spot to get into, the workers took a boat and a piece of equipment called a “mule” with them on the rescue.
A mule is a kind of wide-based A-T-V designed to carry equipment or a person on it. Haindfield says they’ve had this mule less than a year and it’s “an excellent piece of equipment for helping out on a rescue.” Gastfield was airlifted from Decorah to St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, with several fractures and was last reported in fair condition. Doctors say his injuries are not life-threatening.