FREDON — State troopers on Monday night swung into action — literally — to save a hiker and a dog that got trapped on a steep incline in the woods.

The rescue on the Yellow Trail took two hours in the rain and in the dark and ended with a trooper lowering his partner about 25 feet by rope to save the trapped man and animal clinging to a tree, according to State Police.

After the man called 911, Troopers Sean Sullivan and Russell Cahn drove about a half-mile to find the man and then proceeded on foot, blowing their whistles and shouting out his name in order to locate him.

Green Township and Stillwater Township fire departments also responded using rough-terrain vehicles.

Tied to a climbing rope, Sullivan was lowered by Cahn and firefighters into the ravine. After he reached the pair, Sullivan attached a rope to the dog to have it hoisted to safety.

Once the dog was safe, he fastened the rope to the hiker. Once the hiker had been pulled up, the rope was thrown back to Sullivan and he was pulled to safety.

Fredon Township EMS treated the hiker at the scene.

Troopers do not receive specific training for the outdoors at the State Police Academy, according to Sgt. Lawrence Peele, a spokesman for the State Police.

"In 26 weeks, we can't prepare for every incident we will encounter over the course of our careers. But we do endure physical training and other scenario-based training that may mimic a certain situation. As far as specifically rappelling, there is no Academy training for that. It's just preparation for any kind of fall we may encounter," Peele said.

Sullivan, however, had rappelling training with the New Jersey National Guard.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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