South Plateau Snowmobiler Rescue

(West Yellowstone, Mont) On Sunday at 12:47 p.m. the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call from a group of snowmobilers reporting that a member of their party had been injured in a snowmobile crash after her snowmobile left the trail and struck a tree. The 27-year-old Bozeman woman was reported to be conscious but incoherent after striking the tree with her head as she was ejected from the snowmobile. The crash location was reported to be approximately 6 miles south of West Yellowstone on the South Plateau Trail.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, the US Forest Service, and Montana FWP were dispatched to assist with the rescue. Rescuers were able to locate the injured woman and her companions using the coordinates retrieved from the 911 call. The woman was suffering from a head injury along with a possible broken wrist and leg. Rescuers quickly loaded the woman into a rescue sled and transported her back to West Yellowstone to a waiting Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance. The woman was transported to Big Sky, where she was transferred to an Air Methods helicopter.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Rescue at the M

On Friday, January 1, 2021 at 1:51 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies and Search and Rescue responded to a report of a 77-year-old male who fell and injured his leg while hiking the M Trail. The caller stated that she and her father were descending the M Trail when the man lost his footing on a rocky portion, fell, and injured his right quadricep, becoming immobilized.

Search and Rescue members located the patient and loaded him onto a one-wheel litter. SAR members transported the patient down to the trail head where AMR Paramedics and Bridger Canyon Fire were able to further assess the patient’s needs and transport the patient to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Snowmobile Rescue near West Yellowstone

(Gallatin County, Mont) Tuesday, December 29, at 10:11 a.m. West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call from a group of snowmobilers reporting that a member of their party had been involved in a snowmobile crash southwest of West Yellowstone. A injured 17-year-old girl had suffered an upper leg injury when the snowmobile she was riding left the trail and struck multiple trees at high speed.

Rescuers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone and Hebgen Basin Fire Department responded to assist with the rescue. Rescuers were able to locate the injured girl and her companions using the coordinates retrieved from the 911 call. Her injuries were assessed and she was quickly packaged into a rescue sled, then transported back to West Yellowstone to a waiting Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District ambulance. The girl was then transported to a hospital by family members.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

 

Canoers Rescued near Nixon Gulch Bridge

(Gallatin County, Mont) On Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 1:05 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue and Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department responded to a call from a 26-year-old man and his 63-year-old mother who overturned their canoe on the Gallatin River, just east of Nixon Gulch Bridge. They had put in at Dry Creek and planned on pulling out at Nixon Gulch Bridge, but overturned the canoe twice during their outing. The first overturn occurred approximately halfway through their planned trip; they lost some of their gear but were able to turn the canoe upright and continue their trip. The second overturn occurred approximately one and a half miles downriver from the first overturn location. They lost their canoe in the water and were unable to walk out due to terrain and cold exposure. The male reported that his mother was also experiencing minor back pain.

Rescuers from Search and Rescue and Gallatin River Ranch Fire located the patients and coordinated a rescue by Zodiac boat launched from Nixon Gulch Bridge. SAR members successfully transported the patients to the Nixon Gulch Bridge, where AMR Paramedics provided medical evaluation.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Snowmobilers Rescued near West Yellowstone

(West Yellowstone, Mont) At 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 26, 2020, a 25-year-old man and a 28-year-old man got their snowmobiles stuck in the backcountry on the Big Sky trail system about 16 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. They had been traveling with a group of seven other snowmobilers who remained at the end of the groomed trail. The lost men were unsure of their exact location and did not have gear to survive the night; they had no light source, no way to make a fire, no cell phones, and no emergency beacons. They did have a walkie-talkie and were communicating with their friends.

Emergency responders met up with the friends and used their walkie-talkies to establish communications with the lost men, who had left their snowmobiles and were hiking.  They were advised to return to their sleds so that they could use the lights on the snowmobiles to provide a light source for rescuers.

SAR volunteers were able to locate the lost snowmobilers down a steep embankment. Two volunteers were able to ride to the men and advised all other SAR members to remain at the top of the hill. After a long effort, the SAR members were able to get the snowmobiles unstuck from the snow and trees. All parties then rode back up the hill to the rest of the SAR team. SAR members then escorted everyone off the mountain and back to the trailhead, roughly 5½ hours after the men were initially stuck. No one was injured.

Christmas Double in West Yellowstone

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Rescuers with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone were busy Christmas Day. After a mutual aid call from Yellowstone National Park was cancelled, volunteers barely had time to return home before the next call came in.

At 12:10 PM, a 43-year-old woman crashed her snowmobile and sustained a leg injury while snowmobiling on the Two Top trail system, about 8 miles southwest of West Yellowstone. She missed a corner and went off trail, flipping her snowmobile. SAR volunteers reached the patient on snowmobiles with a specialized snow ambulance. She 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 Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho for further evaluation.

At 2:45 pm, shortly after the Top Two call ended, West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a 911 call from a 63-year-old woman who had fallen while skiing on the Rendezvous Ski Trail about three miles south of West Yellowstone. She had sustained a knee injury and was unable to ski back to town. SAR volunteers reached her quickly due to a snowmobiler who saw what happened and was able to provide GPS coordinates. She was loaded into the snow ambulance and transported to the Search & Rescue building before being transported by her friends to a hospital for further medical evaluation.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

 

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Crash

(West Yellowstone, Mont) At around 1:10 p.m. on Thursday, December 24, 2020 a 41-year-old Bozeman man and his 11-year-old daughter crashed their snowmobile into a tree while snowmobiling on the Big Sky Trail system, 8 miles north of West Yellowstone.  The man suffered a lower arm injury and his daughter sustained a leg injury.

Emergency responders from Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone, Forest Service, and Yellowstone National Park reached them on snowmobiles with a specialized snow ambulance. The daughter was placed on a backboard and loaded into the snow ambulance; her father was able to ride out on the back of one of the rescue snowmobiles.  Both were transported off the trail system to an awaiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.  The patients were evaluated by the EMS crew and decided to go to the hospital in their own vehicle.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Whiskey Trail Snowmobiler Rescue

(West Yellowstone, Mont) On Wednesday at 12:47 p.m. West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call from a group of snowmobilers reporting that a member of their party had been in a snowmobile crash approximately 5 miles south of West Yellowstone on the Whiskey Trail. The 57-year-old woman was complaining of femur, back, and neck pain, and appeared to be going into shock.

Rescuers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Hebgen Basin Fire Department and a helicopter from Air Methods were dispatched to assist with the rescue.

Rescuers were able to locate the injured woman and her companions using the coordinates retrieved from the 911 call and assessed her injuries. She was quickly packaged into a rescue sled and transported approximately 2 miles to a waiting Air Methods helicopter. The woman was then transported to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Gallatin Canyon Accident Update

Highway 191 in Gallatin Canyon has been closed since 4 pm due to a serious traffic accident near mile marker 64. Traffic has started moving again but is moving slowly and it will be some time before it is flowing freely. If you are driving the Canyon tonight, please allow plenty of time and drive carefully.

Big Sky Paragliding Accident

On December 18, 2020, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was called for a paragliding accident. A 25-year-old man crashed his paraglider on a steep, rocky mountainside north of the Big Sky Meadow Village and sustained serious injuries. Multiple search and rescue units, including Big Sky Search and Rescue, Heli/Alpine Team, and Ham radio operators, responded. SAR volunteers were able to reach the patient and short-haul him out of the mountains by helicopter, then deliver him to the Big Sky Fire Department. The patient was ultimately flown by Life Flight Network to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital for treatment.
Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office