JACKSON, WY — Teton County Search and Rescue couldn’t do what it does without its helicopter — which is why over the next few weeks, TSCAR is asking the community to say “Heli-Yes!” and support its fundraising campaign.
The Heli-Yes campaign will help TCSAR Foundation raise the funds needed to extend the SAR helicopter contract through the month of May. The SAR heli contract runs from November to April and the Grand Teton National Park helicopter does not arrive until June. This leaves a gaping hole with no helicopter in the valley for the critical spring month of May, a time when many ski mountaineers head high into the Tetons and pursue aggressive routes.
A $30,000 matching grant has been donated and the foundation hopes the public will help with the remaining $30,000. The money will not only pay for one additional month of helicopter use but will also be used to maintain the training program needed for a universal short-haul team that links Grand Teton National Park and Search and Rescue for more complete coverage throughout Teton County.
Funds will also help Search and Rescue work with other agencies such as JHMR Ski Patrol, Togwotee Mountain Lodge, and Grand Targhee Resort to ensure on-ground personnel are trained effectively to operate around and near helicopters during rescues. Funds also allow Search and Rescue to increase the complexity of its training to match the challenges of rescues – training where rescues actually occur creates confidence in difficult terrain during stressful, high-stakes rescues. Lastly, money raised will be used to fully train 11 volunteers to be certified short-haulers for the team’s most tactically difficult rescues.
TCSAR is a team of 36 dedicated volunteers. They spent 5,279 hours training and 4,779 hours rescuing in 2018 alone. Volunteers are expected to be ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and to be proficient in all areas of rescue procedures (swift water, avalanche, caves, high angle, emergency medicine, etc.). The team uses various tools and equipment to perform every rescue as efficiently and safely as possible. The helicopter is one of those tools and an important resource for the volunteers, whether it’s to reach a critically injured patient more quickly or to limit the rescuers’ exposure to high hazards (avalanche slide paths for example).
For a limited time, the community has the unique opportunity to leverage the matching gift, making any gift twice as valuable. The fundraising period runs from April 15 – May 15. Whether it’s $5, $50 or $500… every dollar counts towards the match. You can donate online or send a check to P.O. Box 1063, Jackson, WY 83001.
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Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation
Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation saves lives through direct volunteer support, community education and advocacy