2.14.21 Portal Creek Stuck Snowmobile

On February 14, 2021, at 3:40pm, two snowmobilers were riding in the Portal Creek area when they became stuck in a ravine. They could not get out and were able to contact a friend to advise that they were stuck. The friend called 911 and gave dispatch the GPS coordinates supplied by one of the snowmobilers.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky responded and got as close to the snowmobilers as they felt they could without making the situation worse due to the rough terrain. The stuck snowmobilers were directed to hike out to the SAR members to avoid causing a larger problem.

Search and Rescue members made contact with snowmobilers and transported them to safety without incident.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

2.14.21 Madison Arm Snowmobile Rescue

Sunday February 14, 2021, at 1:05 p.m. the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a 911 call from a snowmobiler on the Madison Arm Trail, approximately 6 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. The snowmobiler reported that his daughter had fallen off her snowmobile and struck a tree with her head. The girl was reportedly having difficulty staying conscious.

Searchers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Custer Gallatin National Forest and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks responded to assist.

When rescuers arrived on scene, the girl was still having difficulty staying conscious. She was quickly loaded into a specialized rescue snowbulance and transported to a waiting Hebgen Basin Rural Fire Department Ambulance who then transported her to Big Sky Medical Center for evaluation.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Man Killed in Avalanche Identified

2/15/21 9:50 A.M.

(Gallatin County, Mont)

The Gallatin County Coroners Office was contacted by Bozeman Health Sunday evening. The individual who was injured in an avalanche earlier in the day succumbed to his injuries and passed away. He is identified as 45 year old, Bozeman resident Craig Kitto. ####

 

2.14.21 Beehive Basin Avalanche


On February 14, 2021 at 11:44 am, two backcountry splitboarders were caught in an avalanche in Beehive Basin. Both splitboarders were swept down slope into trees. One was not buried and did not sustain any injuries. He immediately called 911 when he heard his partner yelling for help.

The second male sustained multiple injuries due to being drug into the trees by the avalanche and was partially buried in snow.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in Big Sky, LifeFlight and Big Sky Fire Department responded. Search and Rescue members were able to quickly make it to the backcountry location, assess the patient and start rescue procedures. A Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue helicopter team was able to transport the patient to an awaiting ambulance which then transported the patient to Big Sky Medical Center. The patient was subsequently flown to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital by LifeFlight Network helicopter.

Photos provided by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

2/11/2021 COVID-19 Death in Gallatin County

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2021

The Gallatin City-County Health Department is saddened to announce that one more Gallatin County resident has passed away from complications due to COVID-19.

See the full press release here.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department Call Center is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19. Reach the Call Center by phone at 406-548-0123 or email at callcenter@readygallatin.com.

The most accurate local source of information remains the GCCHD website.

Update on Appointment of Next Gallatin County Sheriff

 

For immediate release: February 11, 2021

The Gallatin County Commission received one application for the vacant sheriff seat, and will interview that candidate in a public meeting next week.

Current Interim Sheriff Dan Springer was the sole applicant to become Gallatin County’s next sheriff after former Sheriff Brian Gootkin retired at the end of 2020.

You can read Springer’s cover letter and resume here.

The Gallatin County Commission will hold a public interview of Springer on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 2 PM. The interview will take place in the Community Room at the Gallatin County Courthouse, located at 311 W. Main St. The public can also watch online. Details on how to do so can be found here.

Public comment can also be submitted by email at commission@gallatin.mt.gov or by mailing or dropping it off to the Commission Office at 311 W. Main St., room 306, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Commissioners are then scheduled to make an appointment at their regularly scheduled public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Soon after Gooktin’s retirement at the end of 2020, Gallatin County Commissioners started the public process of appointing a replacement sheriff. An application period was open through Feb. 5.

The appointed sheriff will fill the remainder of Gootkin’s term, which expires December 31, 2022.

Media contact:
Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator
406-595-8963
whitney.bermes@gallatin.mt.gov

 

2.9.21 Two Top Snowmobile Rescue

Tuesday, at 1:56 pm, the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a snowmobiler on the Two Top trail, approximately 8 miles west of West Yellowstone. The snowmobiler reported that he was alone and his snowmobile was hopelessly stuck in the snow. The coordinates from the 911 call indicated that the snowmobiler was approximately 1.5 miles off the trail in an area where he was unlikely to be seen by other snowmobilers in the area.

Rescuers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks responded to assist.

Due to fresh snow, the snowmobiler had taken a wrong turn at what appeared to be the main trail, which unfortunately led into a steep canyon with deep powder. The stuck snowmobile was designed for trail use and struggled in those conditions.  Volunteers were able to get the snowmobile unstuck and safely escort him back to West Yellowstone without incident.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

2.8.21 Lost M Hiker

On February 8, 2020, at approximately 6:03pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was dispatched to search for a lost hiker who was descending from the ridge above the M trail.

The hiker had gotten disoriented due to darkness, weather conditions, and the Bridger Fire destroying familiar landmarks. The hiker called 911 and provided accurate coordinates to searchers. Clothing was appropriate for the conditions and searchers had a good cell phone connection with the hiker who was remaining stationary to aid in the search.

A team of three volunteers, along with a search dog made the initial ascent. Shortly after another team was sent up consisting of four volunteers and a single wheeled litter. Team 1 found the hiker near the coordinates given from the 911 call. The hiker was assessed, in good condition, and able to hike out with both search teams.

Due to the hiker calling 911 early, being dressed for the conditions, remaining calm, and providing good information to the search teams, a very speedy and efficient search was possible.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

CIT Academy in Bozeman Training Responders to Help Individuals in Crisis

For immediate release: February 9, 2021

Twenty nine people from organizations across southwest Montana are taking part this week in Crisis Intervention Team Academy in Bozeman.

The purpose of the CIT Academy is to assist emergency responders, detention staff, dispatchers, and anyone who encounters people in crisis to engage, assess and assist those individuals experiencing crisis with mental and/or co-occurring substance disorders.

CIT is a 40-hour evidence based training that encompasses tools and skills participants need to better manage individuals presenting with mental health and/or co-occurring substance disorders. This training exposes the participants to materials and experiences from trained mental health and medical professionals to better prepare them to effectively and safely work with this unique population.

CIT Academy instruction includes:

  • Suicide assessment, intervention and deescalation techniques
  • Substance abuse and dual diagnosis
  • Introduction to mental illness
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Legal issues
  • Elderly and children’s issues
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Intervention strategies
  • Scenario training
  • Familiarization of local facilities

One of the largest benefits of the training is building a strong network of emergency responders, mental health providers and others to better help people in crisis get connected to the resources they need within the community.

Taking part in this week’s academy are staff from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, Belgrade Police Department, Manhattan Police Department, Bozeman Police Department, Western Montana Mental Health, Montana Highway Patrol, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and others.

The academy is hosted by CIT Montana and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office with support from communities across the state, such as Missoula and Lewis and Clark counties.

The academy began Monday and is taking place all week at the Gallatin County Regional Training Facility and is being facilitated by more than 10 CIT coordinators.

COVID-19 precautions such as social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitizer and frequent disinfection of surfaces are being practiced for the entirety of the academy.

MEDIA: to arrange a time to attend the academy this week, contact Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator, at 406-595-8963. Friday’s schedule includes scenario training, which makes for the most dynamic photo/video/sound opportunities for reporters.

Academy location: Gallatin County Regional Training Facility – 93 Laura Louise Ln., near the intersection of Jackrabbit and Baxter lanes.

2.8.21 Reas Pass Search

Monday at 5:54 p.m. the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch center received a call from a local snowmobile rental shop reporting that a group of four snowmobilers had returned without one of their party. A deputy spoke with the three members who had gotten separated from their fourth member in the area of Reas Pass, approximately 8 miles south of West Yellowstone. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, and the snowmobiler being inexperienced and unfamiliar with the area, the decision was made to initiate a search.

Searchers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Custer Gallatin National Forest Service, and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks responded to assist.

The missing snowmobiler was located walking down the trail. He had gotten his snowmobile stuck and was unable to free it on his own. Volunteers were able to get the snowmobile unstuck and escort him back to West Yellowstone.

Photo Courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.