Beaverhead Search and Rescue News
Submitted by Mel Rice: Public Relations Officer
On Saturday July 10, 4 members of the Beaverhead Search and Rescue participated in a multi-agency simulated rescue mission. The four members participating in this training experience were Nathan Freeman, Lawrence Morrisroe, Tara Remely, and Mark Smith.
The training exercise was sponsored by the Madison Valley SAR and included B-D National Forest Service personnel, Ruby Valley SAR, Beaverhead SAR, Butte 1590 SAR, local game wardens, forest LEOs, Madison County law enforcement, Life Flight helicopter, Civil Air Patrol, and EMS from the Madison Valley and Ruby Valley.
The training scenario was set up from a past incident where three archery hunters in the Gravelly Range were attacked and badly injured by grizzly bears. The extent of their injuries prevented them from walking back to their camp. Other members of the hunting party walked out, called for help at 3:00 AM and the mission was on. The exercise was set up exactly like the original rescue mission; three injured hunters in the same location, party members calling for help, rescue parties going into basically a grizzly bear infested area to rescue injured individuals. Even though this was a simulated rescue, the threat of bears being in the area was a real concern. Each rescue group had an armed game warden with them the entire time. As the rescue parties went in to recover the injured hunters, the game wardens would explain what to be aware of and how to minimize further bear encounters.
When the rescue teams reached the simulated injured hunters, they assessed and treated injuries. After preparing the injured hunters, they were packaged and transported to waiting EMS personnel and a waiting Life Flight helicopter. The personnel on the helicopter were mostly new crew members. Therefore multiple landings, takeoffs, and transfers between ground crews and Life Flight crews were practiced. After all it was a training exercise.
Those participating said the training was a very worthwhile exercise. Not only did the participants get experience and gain knowledge of how to work in bear country, how to assess injuries and package injured patients, but also gained valuable experience in working with multiple agencies and coordinating a rescue effort on a very large scale.
Beaverhead County Search and Rescue would like to thank the Ruby Valley SAR and Madison Valley SAR for sponsoring this large scale training opportunity and coordinating all the different agencies that participated. What a large undertaking. A job well done ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully we will have other opportunities to work together. Thank You!!!!!!