Lava Lake Hiker Assisted by Rescuers



(Big Sky, Mont) On Sunday, July 14th, 2013, around 12:50 pm, the Big Sky Division of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and an American Medical Response ambulance responded to the Lava Lake trailhead for a backcountry rescue. Hikers called the Gallatin County dispatch center to report a 52 year old male about 1.5 miles up the trail having difficulty getting back to the parking lot. The male was shaky, had shortness of breath, and had a tingling sensation in his arms. The male was eventually able to walk to the trailhead on his own, where he was evaluated by the waiting ambulance.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind the public that if you run into trouble in the back country and know that rescuers are en route, as a general rule, it is better to stay in place and wait for help to come to you.  #####

Bozeman Woman Rescued after Horseback Accident


(Big Sky, Mont.) On Friday, July 14, 2013, at 11:22 a.m., the 911 Center received a report of an woman injured in a horseback accident in the backcountry near Elkhorn Ridge, which is east of the Red Cliff Campground near Big Sky. 

Gallatin County Sheriffs Deputies and the Big Sky Division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded. 

The rescue team accessed the very remote location on all-terrain-vehicles.  When they arrived on scene they treated the 67-year-old female from Bozeman who was being attended by an MD that was in her party.  Based on the amount of rugged terrain they would have to cover to get her out and her condition at the time rescers decided to fly her out of the area to an ambulance.  From there she was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Vehicles at Fishing Access Sites Targeted by Thieves


(Bozeman, Mont.) Contact: Sheriff Brian Gootkin, 582-2125. 

The Sheriff’s Office reports that there has been a increase in thefts from vehicles parked at local fishing access sites.  These thefts have occurred during daytime hours while owners are fishing or otherwise recreating.  Common items stolen are credit cards, wallets, cash and electronics.  The suspect(s) are taking advantage of windows cracked for ventilation and using a tool to reach in and activate the automatic door lock button. 

Sheriff Gootkin reminds people to take the following precautions; Lock your car, leave the windows rolled up and secure or take valuables with you.  As always don’t hesitate to contact the Sheriff’s Office when you see suspicious activity.  Please note vehicle descriptions or license plates involved.  In this case we are especially interested in anyone entering a vehicle by means other than the key at fishing access sites or trail heads.  ######

HazMat Team Conducting Exercise


Release: 130710-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, 406-582-2350,

Regional Hazardous Materials Team Conducting Training Exercise

Bozeman, MT – The Bozeman-Gallatin County Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team will be conducting a full scale training exercise with Rae-Sourdough Fire Departments the evening of Thursday, July 18th.  Local media outlets are invited to come to the exercise and learn about response capabilities here in the Gallatin Valley.

This full scale exercise is being conducted in the Bozeman area as a blind exercise to all participants, so this means the location, times, and scenario are not public knowledge in order to maintain a real life feel.  Media interested in viewing the exercise should contact Patrick Lonergan at (406) 582-2350 for more information.  Specific details will be provided prior to the exercise.


ATVers Rescued After Hitting Tree


(West Yellowstone, Mont.) On Monday, July 08, at 3:10 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office with the West Yellowstone section of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to a call of an ATV that had crashed into a tree in the area of Reas Pass. Both the male and female passengers  sustained minor injuries when their four-wheeler struck a tree, ejecting both riders. Rescue personnel were able to transport the injured parties to an area accessible by ambulance which later transported them to Rexburg.  Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was assisted by Yellowstone National Park Rangers and the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.   The passengers are both residents of West Yellowstone.    

Sheriff’s Gootkin would like to remind Off Highway Vehicle users to take the proper safety equipment including helmets, suitable clothing, and first aid kits when enjoying Montana’s scenic by-ways.  A relatively simple trip can easily turn into something much more without the proper equipment and the knowledge of how to use it.

Sheriff Hosting Open House and BBQ at River Rock Saturday


(Gallatin County, Mont.) For Immediate Release 7-8-13 3:00 p.m.  The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the River Rock Home Owners Association will be hosting an open house at the new River Rock Sheriff’s substation located in the River Rock Community Center.  Sheriff Gootkin and members of your Sheriff’s Office will be barbequeing hot dogs and hamburgers.  Please join us this Saturday, July 13th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Media Contact: Sheriff Gootkin 582-2125 #####

Missing Utah Man Found

20130628-120053.jpg(West Yellowstone, Mont.) 7:00 p.m. July 3, 2013

The 57 year old autistic camper that was reported missing this morning from North of West Yellowstone has been located and is in good health.  He was located in the back yard of a subdivision about 1 mile south west of the point he was last seen.  Participating agencies include; Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, US Forest Service, National Park Service and West Yellowstone Police Department.  Details of his activities are very limited.  The area he was in is heavily timbered and frequented by Grizzly bears.


Sheriff’s Search and Rescue looking for 57 year old Utah Man


(West Yellowstone, Mont) Wednesday July 3, 2014

The Gallatin County Sheriff with Sheriff’s Search and Rescue are currently serarching for a 57 year old autistic man from Utah.  He was last seen at about 1:30 A.M. this morning in the Rainbow Point Camp Ground north of West Yellowstone.  Russell Lomax is 5’8″ tall, 180 pounds and has grey hair. He may be wearing a red hooded sweat shirt, dark flannel pajama pants and red socks.  If anyone has information regarding Mr. Lomax they should call the Sheriff’s Office at (406)582-2100.

Currently 3 dog teams, 10 search teams and a helicopter are in the area north of West Yellowstone conducting the search. 



Remember Fire Safety this Fourth of July


Contact: Kerry O’Connell 406 582-2085  or   Marianne Baumberger 406 579-3732

Remember Fire Safety this Fourth of July

As you plan for 4th of July festivities, please remember to be “Fire Safe!   Despite the recent precipitation, warm windy weather is bringing fire season closer every day. Take care not to spark any unwanted fires…even the smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so …

  • never leave campfire coals that you can’t  touch,
  • ensure that your OHV has a properly installed operational spark arrester,
  • and never take or use fireworks on state or federal lands.

Enjoy our Independence Day and celebrate safely!  This message was brought to you by State, Federal and County Fire Managers in South Central Montana.

To report wildfires, call 911