Angling outfitters band together for another river AED

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Cooperation and financial support from a dozen authorized fishing outfitters on the Bridger-Teton National Forest has resulted in the purchase and installation of new Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The unit has been deployed in the upper reach of the Snake River canyon flowing through the Bridger-Teton NF.

Snake River map (Snake River Fund)

Since 2001, the BTNF River Management team has strategically deployed AED’s, rescue backboards, and has maintained rescue/evacuation trails to known incident sites. Currently, there are six AED units deployed during the boating season.

In 2010, an AED was used to revive a 16-year old Boy Scout in full cardiac arrest at Sheep Gulch. Unfortunately, the same unit was stolen weeks later. Since then, the units have been pulled by rangers, public and river guides for use in highways accidents, drownings and even allergic reactions to bee stings.

The Snake River Canyon was the first river in the country to put AEDs into use, and the success of the program has spread to rivers across the country doing the same. River management reasoned that more intervention was needed for a victim facing over an hour transport to a hospital.

The outfitters responsible for the latest AED include Fish the Fly Guide Service, Grand Fishing Adventures, Grand Teton Fly Fishing, Jackson Hole Anglers, JD High Country Outfitters, Mangis Guide Service, Snake River Anglers, Spotted Horse Ranch, Teton Troutfitters, Westbank Anglers, WorldCast Anglers, and the Wyoming Angling Company.

The river recreating community has benefited from the generosity and support of the outfitting community over the years. Donations have been made from both the angling and whitewater outfitting communities to support this program.

This latest particular unit was purchased through funds donated to the Snake River Fund, a Jackson, Wyoming based non-profit organization dedicated to public access and stewardship of the Snake River and its tributaries.

Jared Baecker, Snake River Fund Executive Director stated, “The groundswell of generosity from the angling outfitter community demonstrates their commitment to their clients, the general public and over all wellbeing of those recreating on the river.”

Over the years many near miss accidents have been attended to by the commercial outfitting community and river rangers. The professional rescue and recovery skills of the boatmen and women on the Snake River are essential to the incredible safety record on the Snake River Canyon. Each year over 120,0000 people recreate on the river, the vast majority safely. However, devices like the AED’s and skills of those trained to respond increase all of our odds of coming back to paddle another day.

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