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Rangers Assist With Rescue Of Injured Hiker

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avatar Tetons: Two Injured Hikers Rescued In Separate Incidents
July 20, 2010 05:49PM
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Two Injured Hikers Rescued In Separate Incidents

Rangers rescued an injured hiker from Paintbrush Canyon on Sunday evening, July 18th, using the Teton Interagency contract helicopter. A 48-year-old man was hiking near the 10,720-foot elevation Paintbrush Divide when he slid about 30 feet when the snow he was walking across collapsed. He then somersaulted down a talus slope another 70 to 100 feet and sustained a serious leg injury. He had an ice axe with him, but fell onto his back and was unable to self arrest. The man and his brother were on the second day of an overnight backpacking trip, hiking the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon loop trail. The men were approaching the top of the east side of the divide when the incident occurred just before 2 p.m. The man’s brother, with the help of two hikers, stabilized the leg injury before running down Paintbrush Canyon until he was able to call for help on a cell phone. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received the report around 3 p.m. and immediately launched a rescue response. Rangers conducted an aerial reconnaissance flight to locate the man before dropping off two rangers on a snowfield near the top of the divide at about 4:20 p.m. The rangers hiked a short distance to the accident site, approximately 200 feet below the Paintbrush Divide summit, and provided the injured man with emergency medical care before placing him into a rescue litter for aerial evacuation. Just after 6 p.m., he was short-hauled to the same snowfield at the top of Paintbrush Divide where the two rangers had been dropped off earlier; three additional rangers were stationed at the snowfield, waiting to receive the litter. The man was then placed inside of the helicopter for a flight down to Lupine Meadows, where a park ambulance was waiting to transport him to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson. While rangers were in the midst of this rescue, they received a request from Teton County Search and Rescue to assist with another injured hiker in Alaska Basin. Rangers remobilized and flew to Sunset Lake, where they met a 66-year-old woman from Salem, Oregon, who had sustained a leg injury and was unable to hike out. Rangers and SAR personnel decided it would be most efficient to fly her out rather than perform a challenging and lengthy 16-mile evacuation by wheeled litter, putting rescuers and the patient at risk for potential injury.
avatar Rangers Assist With Rescue Of Injured Hiker
July 20, 2010 05:49PM
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Rangers Assist With Rescue Of Injured Hiker

Rangers assisted with the rescue of an injured hiker from the upper and lower Ross Lakes area in Wyoming’s Wind River Range on July 14th. Four rangers, along with a Teton interagency contract helicopter and pilot, responded to the request for aid, which came from Fremont County Search and Rescue. During the early morning hours of July 13th, a hiker in the Wind River Range sustained a serious leg injury and was unable to continue hiking out of the remote backcountry area. The man’s father and another hiking partner splinted his injured leg and hiked out to summon help. Late that afternoon, members of a Fremont County Search and Rescue team hiked into the Ross Lakes area, administered emergency medical care, and evaluated options for rescue. Due to the remoteness and complexity of the terrain, rescue personnel determined that an aerial evacuation would be necessary, so they called for assistance from Grand Teton rangers. Coincidently, a Teton interagency contract helicopter was grounded at the Lander Airport because of high afternoon winds, so a ship was available, but not able to fly. As a consequence, the Fremont County rescue team spent the night in the backcountry with the injured man and made plans for a helicopter extrication the following day. On the morning of July 14th, the four rangers drove to the Dubois Airport to rendezvous with the interagency ship and begin a helicopter-assisted rescue mission. One ranger was inserted via short-haul near the injured hiker, and he placed the man in an evacuation suit for an aerial lift to a more appropriate landing spot. The ranger flew in tandem with the hiker to a landing spot where the injured man could then be placed inside the aircraft for a longer flight to the Whiskey Basin trailhead and a waiting ambulance. The helicopter then returned to the backcountry location to pick up the other three rangers and return them to the Dubois Airport.
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