Snowmobile Injury near West Yellowstone

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

At 1:24 p.m. on December 25, a 13-year-old Montana girl who was snowmobiling on the Two Top Trail system, about three miles west of West Yellowstone, crashed her snowmobile into a tree and sustained a shoulder and back injury.

Search and Rescue responders met her at the scene of the incident on snowmobiles with a specialized snow ambulance. The girl was placed on a backboard and loaded into the snow ambulance, then transported to an awaiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Injured Skier Rescued Near West Yellowstone

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Rescuers with Gallatin County Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone assisted a skier who was injured in an incident near West Yellowstone yesterday.

At 3:15 p.m. on Saturday December 21, 2109, a 50-year-old Idaho women fell and sustained a shoulder injury while cross-country skiing on the Rendezvous Ski trail, about two miles south of West Yellowstone. Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to the woman’s exact location because she had a charged cell phone and was able to call 911, providing an accurate location for the rescue personnel.

Emergency responders met her near the scene of the incident on snowmobiles and a tracked ATV. She appeared to have a broken collar bone. The woman was loaded onto the ATV and transported off the trail system to a waiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.

Emergency Beacon False Alarm

(Gallatin County, Mont) On December 4, 2019 at 10:52 a.m., Gallatin County Dispatch received a notification that an emergency beacon had been activated in the Hyalite area. GPS coordinates showed the beacon to be in the area of a popular ice climbing destination called The Fat One. The beacon was registered to an experienced mountaineer, a 52-year-old woman from the Seattle area. Family members were contacted and were able to provide information on where the woman was climbing, what routes she was planning on taking, who she was climbing with, and the vehicle they drove to the trailhead.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the call. Because the call occurred in the backcountry and the condition of the woman was unknown, ski teams and helicopters were deployed in an effort to quickly locate the woman and her climbing partner, a 69-year-old man. SAR members located the woman’s vehicle at the Grotto Falls trailhead.

At 1:10 p.m., the climber and her partner were located. Both parties were in good health and spirits. The climber said that the SOS button on the beacon had accidentally been pushed. She didn’t notice emergency confirmation messages to her beacon until well after SAR had been deployed and pushed the cancellation button shortly before the parties were located.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage everyone to take steps prior to going into the backcountry that will help us locate you in case of emergency. In this case, the subjects had notified family members of exactly where they would be, what they were driving, who was in their party, and the experience level of party members. Providing this information to someone is a huge help if we need to come looking for you in an emergency situation.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s OfficeHelicopter in parking lot

Overdue Hunter Found

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On November 30, 2019 at 3:45 pm, Gallatin County Dispatch received a call for an overdue hunter. The hunter, a 47-year-old local man, had planned on meeting up with another hunter but didn’t show up. Attempts to contact the hunter by phone were unsuccessful. Based on the falling temperatures and the rugged terrain, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called out to conduct a search for the hunter. When deputies arrived on scene, the reporting party had left her truck to look for the overdue hunter. SAR volunteers, including a search dog, quickly located the reporting party and brought her back to the truck.

The search was in the area of Headwaters State Park and the Trident cement plant, along the train tracks. Just before 7 pm, Montana Rail Link notified dispatch that a train engineer had spotted a man near the tracks at the bottom of the Clarkston Hill. Deputies responded and located the overdue hunter. The man was in good spirits and was given a ride to his residence to meet with the reporting party.

When you are in the backcountry, be prepared to stay out overnight should the conditions worsen. If you report a missing person, please stay with your vehicle until we arrive so we don’t have to search for multiple people.

West Yellowstone Ski Camp Accidents

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  At 3:15 pm yesterday, the Fremont County (ID) Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a 911 call for 67-year-old man from Montana who had fallen while crosscountry skiing.  Fremont County passed the information on to Gallatin County due to the location of the injured party. The man was skiing on the South Plateau trail approximately 7 miles southwest of West Yellowstone and suffered a severe upper leg injury.  At the same time, a 60-year-old woman from Idaho had fallen in a separate incident and injured her hip. Both skiers were part of the 3000+ skiers who are attending the annual West Yellowstone Fall Ski Camp event this weekend. The event was moved from the usual Rendezvous trails to the South Plateau in order to find snow and conditions are fast and icy.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, and Yellowstone National Park responded and met the injured parties near the scene of the accident. The skiers had been moved from the crash scene to a nearby parking lot by volunteers working the ski camp. The injured skiers were initially treated on scene by Hebgen Basin EMS personnel.  The woman was then transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg using an ambulance and crew from Yellowstone National Park. The man, with a possible femur fracture, was transported down the mountain and turned over to Air Methods EMS personnel for air transport to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to thank all of the rescue organizations that came together to execute a successful backcountry rescue of these two individuals. Race organizers with good communication devices and basic medical equipment were also a big part of this rescue.

Storm Castle Search Successful

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Not all Search and Rescue calls involve remote mountain peaks; in many areas of Gallatin County, backcountry starts when you leave the highway. At 5 pm Friday, Dispatch received a report that a 47-year-old Bozeman man and his 7-year-old son were overdue from a quick trip down Gallatin Canyon to scout access to hunting spots. His last contact with his wife was around 11:30, just before he left cell service, and they were due home by 1:00. The man had told his wife where he was headed, so deputies were able to immediately start checking trailheads for his vehicle. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called to assist deputies at 7 pm and multiple teams were sent to search every major hunting access from Big Sky north to Hyalite. The man and son were found, cold but safe, up Storm Castle, where their car had slid off the road, at 9 pm. They had stayed with the vehicle for shelter, which was safer and made it easier for searchers to find them. They were safe at home by 11 pm.

Evening Update on Allmendinger Line of Duty Death

(Gallatin County, Mont) Oct. 23 evening update on the line of duty death of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Allmendinger:

As of tonight, there are 226 law enforcement and first responder vehicles carrying 462 people from 75 agencies coming to escort Jake to the ceremony at the Commons on Friday. The procession will leave from Dahl’s Funeral Home on East Main around 8:45. Most of the vehicles will be coming from East Frontage Road to join the line. The procession will go west on Main Street and Huffine Lane to Love Lane, then north to Baxter and the Commons. The public is invited to line the route to pay their respect to Jake. Drivers can expect lengthy delays and may want to plan on an alternate route.

A detailed schedule will be released tomorrow.

Evening Update on Allmendinger Line of Duty Death

(Gallatin County, Mont) Oct. 22 evening update on the line of duty death of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Allmendinger:

Planning Operations

Planning continues for the funeral. Forty members of GCSO, Gallatin County Emergency Management, Gallatin County 911, Montana Highway Patrol, Bozeman Fire Department, Bozeman Police Department, Hyalite Fire Department, and Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office are working on everything needed for a line of duty death funeral, including an honor guard and bagpipe for the ceremony, parking for the vehicles lining up for the procession, and food for family, planners, and the reception. Arrangements are being made for the public safety responders coming from 21 agencies around Montana and South Dakota so far. Other planners are working closely with the family to make sure their needs guide all decisions and taking care of our local first responders.

Baxter Lane

Plans have changed and Baxter Lane will NOT be closed during the ceremony Friday. Sorry for any confusion. There are a lot of moving pieces in this process.

Media Opportunity

Sheriff Brian Gootkin will be available to talk to reporters at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Gallatin County Coordination Center, 219 E. Tamarack at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. There will also be an opportunity to tour the planning operations. If you have any questions, contact Whitney Bermes, 406-595-8963.

Evening Update on Allmendinger Line of Duty Death

(Gallatin County, Mont) October 21 evening update on the line of duty death of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Allmendinger:

Funeral Ceremony

The funeral ceremony will be at the Commons Friday, Oct. 25 at 10 am. There will be a procession through town to the Commons beforehand. More details will follow as they are solidified.


The Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association fund for Jake’s family has raised over $10,000 already, thanks to many generous and thoughtful people. For information on how to donate go to

First Responder Family

We are taking care of our law enforcement and first responder families today. Chaplains and counselors are arranging sessions for the dispatchers, law enforcement, search and rescue volunteers, and firefighters who helped bring Jake home and for his coworkers.

Agency Assist

It takes a lot of people to organize a line of duty death funeral and we couldn’t do it without other agencies. As always, in Montana neighbors come together to get things done. We are grateful for the help we are getting from Gallatin County 911, Gallatin County Emergency Management, Bozeman Police Department, Bozeman Fire Department, Hyalite Fire Department, Montana Highway Patrol, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office, and Helena Police Department.

Deputy Allmendinger Funeral Update

(Gallatin County, Mont) Planning for Deputy Jake Allmendinger’s funeral has started and will continue through the week. Today the focus was on his family and making sure they get the support they need. As difficult as this is for the GCSO family, it pales in comparison to what his family is going through. We are doing everything we can to provide the family with the help, resources, and answers they need. The goal this week is to carry out their wishes as we all say goodbye to Jake.

We want to thank everyone for their support and condolences today. It means a lot to know that our community has our back.

Information on how people can contribute and the funeral date will be provided when the decisions are made.