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Re: Badlands: Seriously Injured Researcher Rescued From Crevasse

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avatar Badlands: Seriously Injured Researcher Rescued From Crevasse
August 17, 2009 04:37PM
Badlands National Park (SD)
Seriously Injured Researcher Rescued From Crevasse

On the afternoon of July 31st, rangers were dispatched to investigate a report from a 911 caller who said that his partner had fallen into a hole and was seriously injured. Before his cell phone died, the caller was able to report that they were in the Sage Creek Basin and provided GPS coordinates. Park and local emergency personnel responded, but all attempts to locate the reporting party failed and the GPS coordinates where found to be grossly in error. Ranger Teri Stoia finally found the caller and began hiking with him into the badland formations to locate his companion. Search efforts were handicapped by poor radio communications, the rugged terrain, and the reporting party’s difficulty in retracing his steps. Stoia finally located the injured man and discovered that he had fallen 50 feet from a ridge line into a steep, narrow crevasse. He complained of neck and back pain and was found to likely be suffering a broken arm, broken shoulder and multiple broken ribs. Employees from the park, the park’s technical rescue team, Pennington County Search and Rescue, Wall ambulance and fire, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Rapid City Regional Life Flight Helicopter responded. The man was stabilized and extricated from the crevasse. Due to the severity of his injuries and the complicated multi-pitch lowering operation which would have to be utilized to reach the life flight helicopter, it was decided to employ a South Dakota Army National Guard rescue helicopter to lift him off the formations and transport him to the valley floor for transfer to the life flight helicopter. During the investigation, it was learned that the two men were researchers working in the park, studying fossil beds and rock formations. While making their way over the main badland wall, a sudden gust of wind caused one of the researchers to lose his balance and fall off the ridge and into the crevasse below. More than 30 people participated in the successful rescue.
Re: Badlands: Seriously Injured Researcher Rescued From Crevasse
August 19, 2009 03:59PM
Some day in the future people will reflect back saying "it's too bad cell phones in the old days were still line of sight radio transmissions instead of satellite transmissions as they are now (approx 2012 or so). So many more people could have been rescued had they had satellite phones."

Satellite communications for cell phones will happen eventually (at a reasonable cost) which will mean back country adventurers will be able to summon help 24/7.
Hopefully "eventually" will happen soon. The technology is already in place.
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