At 10:00 AM, July 29th, the Beaverhead Search and Rescue received a page to rescue a 69 year old male from Butte who had rolled his 4 wheeler while riding with companions on the Cherry Creek trail west of Melrose. The individual was attempting to ride his 4 wheeler up a steep slope off trail when the machines front tire hit a rock and reared over backwards on top of him. As soon as the accident happened and the party was aware of severe injuries, a SPOT was activated and the 911 call came into the Sheriff’s office. At that time the page was sent out to activate the S&R. The SPOT provided an exact location of the incident.
A hasty team of Tommy Goins and Emergency Room Doctor and member, Mike Clark, were deployed to the victim’s location at 10:36 a.m. The team was able to drive their jeep to within 30 feet of the injured individual. Dr. Clark completed a field medical evaluation of the patient. It was determined there was a possible broken hip/leg as well as other trauma to the leg. After stabilizing the patient he was placed on the full-body evac-splint and secured in place which improved his discomfort. He was carried down the steep section of road and placed in the shade with blankets covering him.
Soon thereafter the ambulance arrived down country from the victim’s location. But there was no way to bring the ambulance to the patient. By now hasty team #2, made up of Tara Remely, Mark Smith, and Graden Greenslade, had arrived with the side-by-side and E-Mule. The victim was placed on the E-Mule and was transported to the ambulance about a mile down country where his care was transferred to the Beaverhead Ambulance personnel. It was finally determined the injured individual had sustained a fracture of the left upper leg and hematoma to the left ankle.
Point of interest: the E-Mule is a large game cart with a center wheel that has an electric motor. The cart itself is long enough to lay a horizontal individual in or set a litter on for transport. It is managed by two individuals walking, one at the head end and one at the backend. It has a throttle for the motor and a disc braking system.
Other members of the organization participating in the rescue were Lawrence Morrisroe, Trent Cottom, and Jason Ericksen. These individual made up the incident command and managed the entire rescue from the Search and Rescue building. The total time involved on the incident was 4 hours and 8 minutes which equates to 33+ man hours. Beaverheard Search and Rescue would like to remind everyone to be extremely safe when adventuring out into our great play ground. If you are one that enjoys going out into the great outdoors, it would be very advantageous for you to get a SPOT. It just might be the one piece of equipment that saves your life.