Heart Problems are Scary. Heart Problems in the Backcountry are Worse

Press release Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a request for a backcountry rescue in the Beehive Basin area near Big Sky.  The 911 caller advised that a 67 year-old female, who had prior heart conditions, had collapsed on the trail. The woman was conscious and breathing, however she had an elevated heart rate, and it was not slowing even after taking in food and water.  The Big Sky Division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue responded along with air ambulance Air Idaho.  An EMT that was on scene assisted Air Idaho with locating a landing zone and the patient was flown to the Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.  Thanks to the reporting party having a sufficiently charged cell phone and having cell service the Sheriff’s Deputy Incident Commander was able to communicate on a regular basis regarding location and patient status.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind backcountry users that medical conditions that might easily be managed in town can become life threatening in the backcountry.  Know your limitations, know the country and take a partner when you are enjoying the hills of Gallatin County.

Bear Canyon Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  4:30 Friday afternoon Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Ft Ellis Fire Dept. were dispatched to the New World Gulch Trail in Bear Canyon East of Bozeman.  A hiker had come upon a lady laying beside the trail a mile and a half up that appeared disoriented.  The 66 year old Bear Canyon resident and her dog were found by Rescuers about a quarter mile from the trail head.  She had no memory of the majority of the day and could not say what had happened to her.  Evidence including an injury under her chin, chest abrasions and scrapes to the palms of her hands indicated some kind of fall.  She was transported to the hospital and treated for a severe concussion.  Sheriff Gootkin stated “This lady exercises on that trail every week and was out being active and taking advantage of what this county has to offer.  It just emphasizes the point that when you go into the back country even something simple like a fall can be a serious  problem.  Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to return with instructions to call the Sheriff’s Office if you don’t check back in. ”

File photo provided by GCSO


Bacon Rind Trailhead Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  On Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm., the Gallatin County Dispatch Center received a call regarding a 59-year-old female from Washington who had fallen off her horse and sustained injuries to her hip and shoulder. The female was approximately two miles up the trail from the Bacon Rind trailhead in Yellowstone National Park.  Initial information indicated that the female had been unable to move from the spot where she had fallen for about two hours.  The location of the rescue incident was near the border between the Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone Park.

Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Yellowstone National Park (YNP) responded. YNP personnel in the area were able to conduct a hasty search of the trailhead and made contact with the patient within a very short time.  The female was more mobile by this time and was willing to attempt to hike out with assistance from a friend and park personnel.

Rescue efforts continued at the trailhead, with personnel and gear arriving and gearing up.  Personnel on horseback and a ground crew with a specialized one-wheel liter were arriving and preparing to go up the trail.  Communications with the rescue personnel on scene with the victim indicated that the patient was doing fine and was successfully walking out on her own.  The female was able to work her way out to the trailhead and decided to go to the Big Sky Medical Center for evaluation in her own vehicle.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind everyone of the importance of good communication resources when using the great backcountry areas that we all get to enjoy.  In this incident, no cell phone coverage was available in the area of the accident, but the female was traveling with friends and they had two-way radio communication with a base camp that did have cell service.  Remember to have a fully charged cell phone and another means of communication like an emergency beacon or satellite phone.

ATV Fatality

On Wednesday, August 16th, a little before 9:00 pm, a 76 year- old ATV rider was reported overdue.  The man was riding in the Little Bear area near the mouth of Gallatin Canyon.

Multiple crews from the various groups of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue conducted an extensive search of the many roads and trails in the region.  A Reach helicopter and a Two Bear Air helicopter also responded.

Around 3:00 am, a ground crew located the man, who was deceased, on a remote and rugged trail about three and a half miles from the nearest road.

Three Search and Rescue Calls with One Fatality

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue started a busy night at 5:30 P.M. yesterday when  missing 72-year-old woman with dementia was reported missing in Big Sky.  Sheriff’s Deputies and the Big Sky Division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue started a search and she was soon found walking in the area.

At about 6:40 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office advising they had received a 911 call from a cell phone. Before the call was disconnected, a man had said that he was hiking when a rock fell on him and he was bleeding.  No more information was attained before the call was lost but Dispatchers were able to obtain general location information based on cell phone tower information and the search was started in the area of Lava Lake.  With a Gallatin County Deputy acting as incident commander, the Big Sky division of Search and Rescue was again activated. An Air Idaho Medical Helicopter based in West Yellowstone was mobilized to try to narrow the search area and was soon able to locate the injured hiker.  The helicopter was also able to find a landing area, care for the hiker, and then fly him to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for further treatment.  His injuries consisted of a broken left humerus, a broken left scapula, soft tissue damage to his right shoulder, and a laceration to the top of his head.  As usual, a person who has some form of communication when they need assistance is a step ahead.

Then, a little before 9:00 PM,  76-year- old Stanley Hamilton of Bozeman was reported overdue by his wife. He had taken his ATV and was riding in the Little Bear area near the mouth of Gallatin Canyon. Multiple crews from the various groups of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue conducted an extensive search of the many roads and trails in the region. The Reach medical helicopter and Flathead County Sheriff’s Two Bear Air helicopter also responded.  Around 3:00 am, a ground crew located Mr. Hamilton deceased on a remote and rugged trail about three and a half miles from the nearest road.  Initial investigation at the scene indicates he crashed and died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.


Public Safety Academy This Fall

Ever wonder who keeps county residents safe, and how? If you have, the GCSO Public Safety Academy is a great way to answer your question. For ten weeks, one night a week, you can learn from the best in law enforcement, crisis intervention, search and rescue, and emergency medical services, for free.

The Public Safety Academy will lead you through how to make a traffic stop, judge which way a bullet entered, and perform hands-on CPR. You will be able to ride along with a GCSO deputy, sit beside a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and tour the Detention Center. You can try on the body armor worn by the Special Response team, learn about how undercover detectives track drug deals, climb inside an air ambulance, see how fast someone with a knife can be, and watch a K9 stop a bad guy. It is a great introduction to how public safety works in your community!

The 7th Academy will be held 6-9 pm every Tuesday from October 3 – December 5, 2017. Any Gallatin County resident 18 years and older is welcome to attend. To register, contact Captain Shane Frantz at Shane.Frantz@gallatin.mt.gov or 582-2120.

Clarkston Fire Contained

GCEM Media Release

Media Release:  170815-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Clarkston Fire Contained

Clarkston, MT – The Clarkston Fire located North of the Clarkston is now contained.  Approximately 55 firefighters spent Tuesday mopping up hot spots and patrolling the fire.  As of Tuesday evening the fire is contained, ready to go into patrol status and the firefighters will be sent home.  While some smoke from the interior of the fire may continue to be seen over the coming days, the fire’s perimeter is secure and poses no risk of escaping.  Firefighters from the Clarkston Fire Service Area will continue to patrol the fire in the coming days.

The Clarkston Fire started Monday afternoon and quickly grew to a final mapped size of 143 acres and an estimated suppression cost of $75,000.  Two non-residential structures  were lost during the early phase of the fire.  Firefighters from Gallatin and Broadwater Counties, Custer-Gallatin and Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forests and the Montana DNRC responded on Monday to contain the fire.

The residents of Gallatin County are reminded that we are in the middle of fire season and to use safe fire practices when working or recreating outside.  While our area is wetter than many places in Montana, the Clarkston Fire is a reminder that our community is still capable of burning right now.


Clarkston Fire

(Gallatin County, Mont.)  The fire reported in the Clarkston area North of Three Forks has been declared under control.  The human caused fire was reported about 1:30 P.M..  Fire Departments from around Gallatin and Broadwater County as well as the Montana Dept of Natural Resources, US Forest Service and local residents worked to bring this fast moving, approximately 250 acre, blaze under control.  Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies did issue evacuation warnings to effected residents and the mass notification system was utilized for text, voice and email alerts. For information on how to register for these alerts go to www.readygallatin.com.  Helicopters as well as a few fire crews will remain in the area this evening and tonight and there will be fire patrols and work tomorrow.  Residents have been allowed to return to their homes but are being held out of the areas where helicopters are actively dropping water.  Citations were issued to two juvenile suspects for starting the fire.

Photo courtesy of Mt Dept of Natural Resources and the Sheriffs Office

Woman Rescued After Fall From Horse near Big Sky

(Big Sky, Mont.)

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 8:00 PM, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue at Big Sky and Paramedics from the Big Sky Fire Department responded to a backcountry rescue on the Porcupine Creek Trail.   A 73 year old female from Ohio had fallen from a horse and sustained a head injury.  The horseback guides used a satellite phone to contact emergency services.

Rescuers used all terrine vehicles to access the woman.  She was assessed and transported using a specialized one-wheel liter to Fire Department Paramedics waiting at the trail head then transported by Fire Department ambulance to the Big Sky Medical Clinic.

File photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office