TCSAR looks back on a big year

JACKSON, Wyo. — Teton County Search and Rescue’s all-volunteer team spent nearly 13,000 hours on SAR-related activities in 2019.

That’s according to the 2019 End-of-Year Rescue Report, released recently but the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation.

On top of the thousands of hours spent on rescues, TCSAR also added two months of helicopter services that saved several lives. People also used TSCAR’s app, BackcountrySOS, to effectively reach emergency responders.

“I cannot express how proud the team is when their involvement on a rescue results in saving someone’s life and keeping a family together,” says TCSAR Chief Advisor Cody Lockhart, who joined the team as a volunteer in 2010. “That is why we volunteer, and we could not do our job without the support of the community.”

Some interesting breakdowns: 

In general, TCSAR rescues more men than women. But last summer, more women (52%) were rescued than men. Men still dominated winter rescues, though — 86% of rescues during the winter of ’18/19 were men.

Backcountry skiing and snowboarding accidents were the most common type of winter rescue. The heavy snowfall in February made for an especially busy month, and Search and Rescue responded to numerous incidents in the JHMR backcountry. Teton Pass also saw 12 rescues.

Hiking rescues were most common last summer, but still only accounted for 24% of all rescues. ATV rescues seemed to be a trend in August, with three incidents in just one week.

“Search and Rescue missions don’t just happen; they are the result of all the little things coming together—the years of embedded knowledge, teamwork, training, and dedication,” Lockhart writes in the report. “We only have one chance to execute a rescue. If things don’t go right, the consequences are high and may mean the difference between life and death. For every hour spent on a rescue, there are probably 10 hours spent maintaining and ordering equipment, training, administrating, organizing, planning, fundraising, and countless other little things.”

See the full report here.


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