JACKSON, Wyo. — If you or one of your loved ones were to be seriously injured in the Jackson Hole backcountry, you’d want your rescue to be as fast, efficient and as professional as possible. Anything less could be a matter of life or death.
Rising to meet these life-threatening scenarios is Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR). And one of the things that makes the biggest difference is having a rescue-ready helicopter on-hand throughout the year.
“In the world of Search and Rescue, there’s no substitute for a helicopter. It puts less people in harm’s way and allows us to safely respond to emergencies in complex and challenging terrain,” says TCSAR Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart. “We can get to critical and life-threatening injuries faster, and ultimately, a helicopter provides a higher level of SAR service to our community at more times of the year.”
But TCSAR needs your help to make their heli fly.
That’s why this month, the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation, which supports the 36 volunteers on the team, is asking for donations to guarantee eight months of life-saving helicopter service in Jackson Hole.
The goal is to make sure Teton County has seamless integration for year-round helicopter service without any gaps in service during the spring and fall seasons.
This year, the “Heli-Yes!” campaign comes during a difficult time, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing great uncertainty across the country. TCSAR Foundation respects the dire situation many people face, but it also recognizes that there is no offseason in the Jackson Hole backcountry.
Recreating on nearby public lands will always be an integral part of the Jackson Hole culture and local economy, and TCSAR is committed to having the best tools and training necessary to respond to accidents when they occur.
Since January 2019, TCSAR has performed 32 heli missions, 10 short-haul operations and saved six people’s lives, several of whom were rescued through efforts behind “Heli-Yes!” To maintain this dedicated life-saving service, the Foundation again needs community support.
Donations will be used in the following ways:
- Maintain the helicopter contract for eight months, covering critical spring and fall months in the Tetons.
- Create, train and maintain a universal short-haul team between Grand Teton National Park and TCSAR for more complete coverage throughout Teton County.
- Train with other agencies (including Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Togwotee Mountain Lodge and Grand Targhee Ski and Summer Resort) to ensure on-ground resources are trained effectively to operate around and near the helicopter during a rescue. This creates more efficient and safer rescues for patients and rescuers.
- Increase the complexity of training to match the challenges of rescues. With increased fundraising, TCSAR now can train where rescues actually occur, creating confidence in difficult terrain during stressful rescues.
- Fully train 17 volunteers to be certified short-haulers for the most tactically challenging rescues.
- Educate community members on helicopter best practices for before, during and after a heli rescue.
“Heli-Yes!” is one of the best opportunities of the year to donate to TCSAR Foundation, as every contribution through May 31 is DOUBLED.
To make a donation to “Heli-Yes,” visit www.TetonCountySAR.org/heli-yes or send a check to P.O. Box 1063, Jackson, WY 83001 with a memo for Heli-Yes!
You can also donate online HERE.