A Rimrock couple hung on for their lives Monday, Feb. 23, after their ATV was suddenly swept into the cold waters of West Beaver Creek.

They were treated at Verde Valley Medical Center for possible hypothermia, and the female was released.

“Their body temperatures were still in a normal range,” Camp Verde Fire District firefighter Jake Cecil said. “They weren’t too hypothermia yet.”

Montezuma-Rimrock Fire District received the call at 7:51 p.m. to respond to North Culpepper Road.

According to MRFD Capt. Tim White, the couple was trying to cross at a low-water crossing when their ATV got swept up in the fast water.

“It’s the time of year. The snow melted very quickly. The water came up a couple feet throughout the day,” White said.

The water pushed the couple about 20 feet until they grabbed dried brush that they clung to until rescuers were called.

Crews from MRFD, CVFD, Sedona Fire District and an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter responded.

Rescuers lowered a raft into the water from a foot bridge and moved it on a tether to reach the stranded victims.

SFD Capt. Tim Lefler, who teaches swift water rescue as in instructor for Rescue 3 International, said in this area, he’s rescued more people from rivers than burning buildings.

The water was too deep to stand, he said, and cold.

“You lose your body heat 25 times faster in the water than the air,” Lefler said. “They were extremely cold when we got to them.”

Despite the elements, the couple really toughed it out,

he said.

“I don’t know how much longer they could have held on. They were getting pretty tired of holding on,” he said.

Camp Verde gets a lot of water rescue calls this time of year, Cecil said. With all of the snow melting, the streams swell up with runoff.

MRFD is continually training in swift water and rope rescue, Capt. Dale Duns said, and it was great to see the local departments work together for a safe rescue.

Eight years ago, no one in the Verde Valley had swift water training, according to Lefler.

“It was really rewarding to see that everyone was on the same sheet of music and we did a successful rescue,” he said. “We’re all working out of the same concepts.”

Alison Ecklund can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 125, or e-mail

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Stop foreclosure, lower your payments and take charge of your financial future. Join the Sedona Creative Life Center for a live seminar Saturday, Feb. 28, from 1 to 4 p.m., with a question and answer session at the end at the center in Sedona.

This comprehensive, three-hour, in-depth instructional class will provide you with all the tools you need to keep your home, prevent foreclosure, lower payments, understand loan modification, learn to modify loans, effectively negotiate with your lender and view your situation from your bank’s perspective, stated a press release.

Learn what a forensic loan audit is and the three things you do not tell your bank. Seven out of 10 loans have legal issues, and you need to know why this is extremely important for your situation.

You have power over your bank, so exercise that power and lower your payments.

This three-hour presentation not only teaches you exactly what you need to successfully renegotiate your loan, it provides you with a template for a powerfully effective hardship letter. You will also be supplied with free forms needed to take control of your financial situation. You can even earn extra income helping others — this class will show you how.

Tickets are $89 in advance, $99 at the door, and are available at the Golden Word Bookstore and The Worm Bookstore in the Village of Oak Creek.

Get tickets online along with more information. Watch free videos at www.loanmodlessons.com.


Jobs still hang in the balance after the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors reallocated county sales tax and voted to return project money.

The board voted 2-1 on Jan. 20 to accept a proposal that redistributes funds collected from the county’s one-half-cent sales tax and converts the capital project program to pay-as-you-go. District 1 Supervisor Carol Springer voted against the proposal.

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