Mineral County Miner | Mineral County SAR helps rescue injured fighter for 12 hours
MINERAL COUNTY – According to Mineral County Search and Rescue (SAR) Director Terri Wetherill, the team spent 12 hours on Sunday, September 12, rescuing a hunter who was thrown from his horse and sustained injuries serious potential.
“Mineral County SAR coordinated with Upper San Juan SAR (USJ) (Archuleta County) to rescue injured hunter from the backcountry to the West Fork of the San Juan River “said Wetherill. âThe hunter had been thrown from his horse and potentially had a broken back and serious head injuries. We used both Flight for Life (FFL) and the High Altitude Air National Guard (HAATS) Aviation Training Site to complete the mission. Initially, FFL assessed a landing zone close to the patient, after determining that there was no landing zone available within 1 1/2 miles of the patient’s mountain, FFL then performed two trips to airlift four members of the USJ SAR team to the ridge above and about 1.5 miles from the injured hunter.
Concurrently, Mineral County SAR began to ascend Bornes Lake Ranch approximately 5.5 miles to support the operation. Together, the two teams had 12 people in the field and additional logistical support from staff from both counties.
“While four members attended to the patient, the other members in the field used hand saws and good old manual labor to cut down and remove the beetle killer trees so that there was a landing area available near by. of this place because it was the second major assignment we have had here in the last three years. Both have been very successful, âsaid Wetherill.
Teams successfully wrapped the patient and hoisted him off the side of the mountain by a Blackhawk helicopter from Team HAATS. The Blackhawk then proceeded to Stevens Field in Pagosa Springs and transferred the patient to the FFL helicopter, which was more equipped for advanced medical care, and then transported the patient to the Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.
In addition to the rescue, Mineral County SAR has made an effort to delegate the money recently donated by the Friends of Mineral County Emergency Service and has committed $ 10,000 to the future Emergency Services Building Fund.
âWe are raising funds to construct an emergency services building to be located just southeast of the school that would house SAR equipment in addition to a fire engine and an ambulance, which would provide a some flexibility to respond to emergencies that are not found in the town of Creede. district, âWetherill said. âOur SAR board is working to determine the best use of the rest of the money. We will meet this Wednesday evening to make the final decisions. We need five additional dual-band radios at a cost of $ 3,000 each so that each member of the team has full communication capabilities. Our SAR vehicle is a 1997 Chevrolet Suburban with a very tired engine and a few other issues. We are looking at having the engine refreshed and doing some general repairs to bring the truck to a reliable condition, which can cost around $ 10,000. “
The Mineral County SAR team is also considering purchasing a few e-bikes and a bike trailer that can be converted to transport an injured adult. The advantage of e-bikes would be that they can cover a significant amount of ground with less energy expended by the rider, which, added to the fact that SAR teams could hear people calling them mostly at night, could change. gives it when searching for lost, stranded or injured people. The type of electric bike required for mountain hiking costs around $ 5,000.
âOur SAR team has been very fortunate with the support of our community, the Friends of Mineral County Emergency Services (FOMCES), Mountain Views at Rivers Edge RV Resort, the Wolf Creek Ski Area, and very generous donations from a few specific individuals. This has really allowed Mineral County SAR to better equip and train our team to respond to any type of SAR mission, which is a big deal considering how a hilly backcountry our county is, âsaid Wetherill.
For more information on joining the Mineral County SAR Team, contact Wetherill at 719-850-0515 or email [emailÂ protected]