Cardiac Arrest Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont) On February 16, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., Gallatin County Dispatch received a call regarding a cardiac arrest. The caller was cross-country skiing on the groomed trails to the east of Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital when he came across a woman performing CPR on a man.

Members of the Bozeman Fire Department and Bozeman Police Department responded to the call and were able to walk to the subject’s location. The location was not accessible with an ambulance, so Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the call. Multiple SAR members were at the SAR building and were able to respond immediately. SAR members used snowmobiles and a tracked four-wheeler pulling the ORION wagon to access the patient.

Despite the prompt deployment and response of SAR, medical, and law enforcement resources, the 66-year-old Belgrade man succumbed to a heart attack. Our condolences go out to the man’s family.

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The deceased man is Steve Schwab, a retired teacher at Bozeman High School.

Three Arrested on Homicide Charges

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Sasser Jr., Patricia Batts, and a juvenile male (uncle of the victim) for the offense of Deliberate Homicide. The charges are in reference to the death of 12-year-old James Alex Hurley outside of West Yellowstone, Montana, on or about February 3, 2020. The defendants’ initial appearances in Justice Court will be on February 13th at 10:30 am. The investigation is ongoing and Sheriff Gootkin can only comment on the information covered in the Affidavit of Probable Cause, which is public information.

Sheriff Gootkin will be available to talk to reporters at noon on Thursday, February 13, at the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Photo of James Hurley courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Buck Ridge Snowmobiler Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On February 9, 2020, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Big Sky received a call from a snowmobiler who reported that he had possibly broken his leg up Buck Ridge. GPS coordinates from the 911 call placed him in McAtee Basin, which helped Search and Rescue members locate him quickly. Life Flight flew to his location and with the help of numerous other snowmobilers, the patient was loaded into the helicopter and flown to medical care. Because the snowmobiler had a charged cell phone and cell service, the rescue went quickly and efficiently.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Stuck Snowmobiler Rescued

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On February 8, 2020 at about 8:30 PM, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called out for a report of a stuck snowmobiler. The 21-year-old local man was snowmobiling by himself near Fairy Lake and got stuck in a tree well. Search and Rescue members responded to the scene on snowmobiles and helped the man extricate his machine. The man stated that it was a big mistake for him to go out by himself. Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to always take a buddy when heading out to play in the backcountry.

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Injury

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Rescuers with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone assisted a snowmobiler who was injured in an incident near West Yellowstone.

At around 3:25 p.m. on Wednesday February 5, 2020, a 30-year-old Minnesota man crashed his snowmobile and sustained a broken ankle while snowmobiling on the Big Sky trail system about 16 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. Rescuers were able to get to the man quickly because he was with friends and was able to call 911, providing an accurate location for the rescue personnel. Another group of snowmobilers in the area provided emergency heat blankets to the patient.

Emergency responders placed the man on a backboard and loaded him into a specialized snow ambulance, then transported him off the trail system to an awaiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department. He was transported by ambulance to Bozeman Health Hospital.

Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Crosscountry Skier Injured near West Yellowstone

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Thursday January 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm, the West Yellowstone Police dispatch center received a 911 call from an injured crosscountry skier. The skier, a 53-year-old woman from Washington, had fallen while skiing on the Rendezvous Ski Trail about two mile south of the town of West Yellowstone. She had sustained a back injury and was unable to ski back to town.

Rescuers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, and the Forest Service responded and met the injured skier at the scene of the accident. The skier was loaded onto a specialized snow ambulance and transported to the edge of town, where she was transferred to an ambulance and transported to the Big Sky Medical Center.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to thank all of the rescue organizations which came together to execute a successful backcountry rescue.

Warrant Payment Scam

(Gallatin County, Mont) The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has become aware of a phone scam that is circulating the area. The scammer states they are a Deputy or Detective with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and informs the person that they have a warrant for their arrest. They then instruct the person to purchase pre-paid cash cards in order to avoid arrest.
 
These scams are intricate as they appear to be calling from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and it is the correct Sheriff’s Office phone number, of 582-2100. If you receive one of these calls, hang up. Do not agree to their request of payment. The Sheriff’s Office would never request any kind of payment via the phone. If you have any concerns about the call, call the Sheriff’s Office directly at 582-2100, ext 2.

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Crash

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On Wednesday, Rescuers with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone assisted a snowmobiler who was injured in an incident near West Yellowstone.

At around 3:45 p.m. on January 29, a 67-year-old North Carolina man crashed his snowmobile into a tree and sustained a hip injury while snowmobiling on the Little Snowy Trail, about two miles west of West Yellowstone. Rescuers were able to respond very quickly to this incident and to the exact location because this snowmobiler was with friends and was able to call 911, providing an accurate location for the rescue personnel.

Search and Rescue responders met him at the scene of the incident on snowmobiles with a specialized snow ambulance. The man was placed on a backboard and loaded into the snow ambulance, then transported off the trail system to an awaiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.  The patient was then transported by ambulance to the Big Sky Medical Center.

Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Presidents Polar Plunge

(Gallatin County, Mont) On Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm, the Presidents Polar Plunge will take place at the Glen Lake Rotary Park (formerly the East Gallatin Recreation Area). Sheriff’s deputies, other law enforcement officers, and the Search and Rescue Dive Team will be there to support our local Special Olympics Athletes, many of whom will be participating in the plunge. Come out and get Freezin’ for Reason for the athletes of Special Olympics Montana.

This event is open to anyone who wishes to take the plunge and support our local Special Olympics Athletes. Too chicken to plunge? NO PROBLEM…you can still be a part of the fun. Simply register as a chicken and raise pledges and receive incentives just like a regular plunger. To register or for more information go to http://www.somt.org/plunge. Registration  starts at 11:30 am at Glen Lake and continues until 12:30pm.

For questions or for information on volunteering or sponsoring this event, please contact Mandy Patriarche at (406) 589-6005 or apatriarche@somt.org.  We hope to see everyone there!

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, 2019 Polar Plunge.