Ignoring posted no trespassing signs, four women carrying plastic sleds climbed at least 80 feet of a 200-foot-tall pile of agricultural limestone remnants at the Lehigh Quarry early Monday morning, according to local firefighters.
Firefighters were dispatched to the quarry at 12:30 a.m. on Monday to rescue two of the women.
The other two came down on their own. According to Limestone Fire Protection District Chief Mike Whalen, the four women tried for an hour to get the two on the ledge down before calling for help, only to find their cell phone batteries had run down. One of them went back to the vehicle and charged the phone to call 911.
Limestone Fire and Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputies responded as did the Kankakee Technical Rescue Team, Combined Agency Rescue Team, and a rescue team from MABUS 19 in Will County.
After securing the equipment, rescuers were able to reach the pair, according to Whalen. It took 45 minutes to bring each one down, Whalen said. The rescue took a total of 4 hours.
The two women were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
Vulcan Materials Company, the owner of the quarry, signed complaints for trespassing and all four women were charged for trespassing and are scheduled to appear in court.
Vulcan released this statement, “We are very thankful that no one sustained major injuries. Thank you to the multiple rescue agencies that responded. We are grateful for their service and commitment to protecting the community of Kankakee.”
Kankakee County Highway Department and Scanlon Excavation were able to clear a path back to the rescue area due to the heavy snowfall.
In addition, River Valley Metro Mass Transit District provided a bus to provide a warming area for rescue personnel.