Flood Season is Approaching

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 Media Release

Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, 406-582-2395

Bozeman, MT – Residents in Gallatin County are currently being encouraged to prepare their property for spring flooding.  Southwest Montana is rapidly approaching spring runoff and once this occurs the possibility of flooding at any point will be present.  Officials recommend property owners prepare for flooding before spring runoff occurs.  Once the runoff begins increasing it is often difficult to properly prepare your property and if flooding does occur, it is to late to protect your property.

Gallatin County recommends that residents in areas prone to flooding talk with their insurance agents about flood insurance.  If someone is considering flood insurance, now is the time to do it and have it take effect in time.  Flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period after purchasing a policy before your policy becomes active.  So don’t wait until it floods to get insurance, it is too late.

Local officials also recommend preparing waterways around your property so they can accomodate as much water as possible.  We recommend clearing ditches and culverts of any debris that may have formed over the winter.  If larger projects are warranted on waterways, a permit will be required so start that process soon.

Residents that routinely see their property flooded should identify the materials they will need, such as sandbags, to properly protect themselves and stockpile it ahead of time.  Once flooding occurs it is often difficult to procure the proper supplies fast enough, so we recommend preparing ahead of time.

Additional information on flooding is available at: http://www.readygallatin.com/flooding.php.


Two Horseback Riders Rescued from Gallatin Canyon

For Immediate Release

(Bozeman, MT.) On Friday March 23, 2012at approximately 2:58pm Gallatin County Dispatch received a call reporting two injured horseback riders about two miles up the Porcupine Creek Trail immediately off of the trail in the Gallatin Canyon North of Big Sky.  It was reported that both patients fell from their horses; one patient was partially rolled on by her horse.  Initial reports indicated that one or both of the patients might be suffering from potentially serious injuries.

Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky with a Sheriff’s Deputy/SAR Coordinator responded to the Porcupine Creek Trailhead to conduct the rescue.  SAR teams quickly located and assessed the patients.  It was determined that both patients were stable enough to be removed by ATV and rescue sled. 

Patient one, a 27 year old female fromOhiowas suffering from more serious and painful injures and was therefore removed first.  Patient two was suffering from less serious injuries and was removed a short time later.  Both patients were transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital by Big Sky Fire and Rescue. 

Both patients were riding in a group of approximately six riders with a local guide service.  Unstable and muddy conditions were likely to blame for the first fall.  The first fall spooked a second horse ultimately causing the second fall.


Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office

VIN inspections can be completed every day of the week between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Citizens needing a VIN inspection are asked to bring the required paperwork from the Department of Motor Vehicles located at 311 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT. Please go to the first floor window at the Law and Justice Center. There is no charge for this service. The Sheriff’s Office requests those requiring a VIN Inspection bring the actual vehicle, boat, trailer, camper, etc. to the Law and Justice Center. If the vehicle, etc. cannot be moved, contact dispatch at (406) 582-2100 option #2 to schedule an appointment for an inspection.

Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office

On March 13th, 2012 the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office responded to a reported death that occurred within Gallatin County. Upon investigation, it was determined that James Henry Hickert had died from blunt force injuries of the head due to a fall from a ladder. It appears as though Mr. Hickert fell from an approximate height of 20 feet, striking his head when he hit the ground.

The incident occurred in the late morning. He was found by a family member later that evening. Mr. Hickert was 69 years old at the time of his death.

Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office – Drug Take Back

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of the ability to dispose of expired or unwanted medications within the Law and Justice Center (615 South 16th Avenue in Bozeman).

Unused and expired prescription medications can lead to poisoning, overdose, and abuse.
Statistics show that 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family.

“We want to keep these medications out of the hands of our children and out of our watershed through proper disposal and destruction. We are excited to offer this program to the citizens of Gallatin County and hope that everyone gets a chance to take advantage of it.”

Sheriff Gootkin

A mailbox-style kiosk designated for medication disposal is located in the lobby of the Law and Justice Center. The lobby is open to the public everyday during business hours. Medication disposal is free and anonymous. Tablets, capsules, and all other solid dosage forms will be collected. Intravenous solutions, injectibles, and syringes will not be accepted.

Please call the Missouri River Drug Task Force at (406) 582-2110 for more information.

Local Snowmobiler Rescued from Taylors Fork Sunday

(Bozeman, Mont) On Sunday 3/4/2012 at about 12:30 pm Sheriff’s Search and Rescue received a call of an injured snowmobiler in the Taylor Fork area approximately 15 miles off of US 191, south of the Wapti “Y”.  The call was received at the West Yellowstone Police Department and forwarded to Gallatin County 911.  Coordinates retrieved from the reporting person’s cellular phone helped confirm the location.

The Big Sky Section of Search and Rescue, a Deputy Sheriff/Coordinator, a National Park Service Ranger, and two Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers responded to conduct the search.  

A 24 year old Bozeman man was riding his snowmobile with a friend in a popular unmaintained forest service area away from groomed trails.  The man was riding in an area with several windblown cornices and mistakenly drove off a ledge that was much steeper than it appeared.   The man was in severe pain and suffered two lower ankle injuries and was complaining of pain and numbness in his lower back and lower extremities. 

SAR teams located the male and determined that removing the man by snowmobile and toboggan would cause too much pain, take too much time, and potentially injure him further.    

Summit Air Ambulance responded to the crash scene and transported him to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. ####

Man in Snowmobile Crash Saved by Quick Response

On March 2, 2012, at 0920 hours, the West Yellowstone Police Department received a report of an injured snowmobiler approximately four miles west of West Yellowstone near the South Fork of the Madison River. 

Deputies and volunteers from the West Yellowstone division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Yellowstone National Park and the Forest Service conducted the rescue.

A 42-year-old male from Tel Aviv, Israel, was operating a snowmobile on a groomed trail when he lost control, left the trail, and struck a tree.  He hit the tree with such force that it knocked his helmet and both of his boots off.  His boots were found approximately twenty feet from the accident site.  He suffered life threatening injuries and was transported out of the backcountry by the rescue team.  He was then transferred to a Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance.  They met a life-flight helicopter from Air Idaho.  He was then flown to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Doctors in Idaho indicated that his life was saved because of the rapid access and transport by the responders and that 15 more minutes could have made the difference between survival and death.