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Search and Rescue responds to six calls in two weeks

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The Gallatin County Search and Rescue team has followed the most demanding year yet with six rescue missions in the last two weeks.

Four missions were to help injured snowmobilers south of Big Sky, one was to help lost snowmobilers near Taylor Fork and another was to aid a snowshoer experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath while hiking in Yellowstone National Park not far from West Yellowstone, according to a series of press releases from Gallatin County.

The rider of this snowmobiler injured their arm after crashing into a tree near Junction 16 outside West Yellowstone. COURTESY OF GALLATIN COUNTY

On the evening of Feb. 2, two snowmobilers became lost while riding around the area of Slide Creek off Taylor Fork Road. They used a Garmin device to call for assistance, and SAR volunteers from the Big Sky section were able to find the people relatively quickly.

On Jan. 28, a snowmobiler crashed into a tree 1 mile west of West Yellowstone and reportedly fractured their femur. Volunteers from the Custer Gallatin National Forest, Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District and the West Yellowstone SAR section responded and were able to bring the injured rider to an ambulance.

On Jan. 26, a snowmobiler riding southwest of West Yellowstone near Junction 16 struck a tree and hurt their arm. A passing snowmobiler helped guide volunteers from four different organizations to the injured person, who was eventually taken to Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center.

On the morning of Jan. 25, a person snowmobiling on Buck Ridge south of Big Sky suffered a leg injury. Volunteers from the SAR Big Sky section assessed the injured rider and brought them back to the trailhead in a specialized rescue sled towed behind a snowmobile.

A specialized rescue sled towed behind a snowmobile. COURTESY OF GALLATIN COUNTY

On the morning of Jan. 24, a snowmobiler riding five miles north of West Yellowstone on the Madison Arm Trail crashed into a tree and sustained injuries to their chest and back. Volunteers from the SAR West Yellowstone section and the Hebgen Fire District evacuated the injured rider in a specialized rescue sled, and the rider was eventually taken to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho.

On Jan. 20, a person snowshoeing on the Riverside Trail a mile east of West Yellowstone began experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. First responders from the town, Yellowstone and the Hebgen Fire District responded and eventually the person was brought to the Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center for further care.

In the releases, Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer noted that winter recreationalists should travel with others, carry a reliable means of communication, recreate within their ability and be able to recognize the need to immediate medical care while in the backcountry.

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