Backcountry SOS helps in snowy rescue

JACKSON, Wyo. — Teton County Search and Rescue has a toolbox of technology to help them in rescues. This weekend, they needed it all. Thanks to their app, Backcountry SOS, and their new helicopter, TCSAR was able to find and rescue a man injured deep in the backcountry Saturday.

Just as snowy weather moved into Jackson on Saturday afternoon, TCSAR had a callout to assist a 60-year-old man who’d experienced significant back pain while riding a horse on a hunting trip eight miles up Cache Creek.

Due to severe pain and previous medical history, the man was unable to walk or ride his horse. He was hunting with his son, who called 911 dispatch for assistance. Because the hunting party had a difficult time explaining their location, the son used the Backcountry SOS app, which allowed him to text their exact position to emergency responders.

With the helicopter on standby due to weather, a ground team started up Cache Creek and reached the patient at about 4:36 p.m. The helicopter made an initial attempt to reach the patient but had to turn around due to weather. The field team continued patient care and began the wheeled litter transport of the patient. At about 6 p.m., a good weather window allowed the helicopter to land at the scene, pick up the patient, and fly him out to safety.

Having access to a helicopter, associated ground gear, professional medical training and human power helped TCSAR volunteers bring this incident to a positive outcome. This is the second time since August that the Backcountry SOS app has helped an emergency response in Jackson Hole. The app is free, can be downloaded to any smartphone, iTunes and Android, and allows a user in Teton County, Wyoming and Idaho, to reach emergency dispatch with just minimal cell service.

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