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MISSIONS

The purpose of Park County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit (PCSAR) is to organize for, plan for, train for, maintain equipment for, and respond to incidents requiring search and rescue assistance as requested, directed, and authorized by the Sheriff of Park County, Wyoming.  The following is a brief synopsis of our missions so far in 2017.

WY11-01-17, Aldrich Creek Evacuation: On January 8, 2017 at approximately 4:50 p.m., the Park County Communication Division received a report of a 17 year old male suffering from hypothermia a few miles south of County Road 6WX in the Alrdrich Creek drainage. The victim and a friend were hiking in the area when he became cold and stopped walking. The snow in the area was 1 to 2 feet deep and the victim's trousers became soaked.  His companion could not convince him to walk back to their vehicle. Disorientation and weakness are initial signs of hypothermia.  Search and Rescue immediately responded to the area with ground teams as well as their amphibious tracked ARGO rescue vehicle. A medical helicopter from REACH Air Medical was also dispatched. Ground units reached the victim at approximately 7:30 p.m. and by 9:00 p.m., the victim was air lifted from the area and transported to West Park Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

WY11-02-17, Wapiti Campground Search: On February 3rd, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. a trooper from the Wyoming Highway Patrol discovered an abandoned pickup truck on Highway 14-16-20 west approximately ½ mile west of the Wapiti Campground on the Shoshone National Forest. Subsequent investigation revealed that the truck belonged to a 61-year-old male who was last seen on Tuesday, January 31st. He was seen on that day by a mail carrier possibly taking photographs from his truck. The victim was described by his friends as an avid hiker and photographer who often frequented the North Fork. Members of Park County Search and Rescue immediately began a ground search of the area with no success in locating the victim. The search teams were having to wade through heavy waist-deep snow in which search dogs could not even get through. The search was further complicated by the fact that searchers had no idea what happened to him, his intentions, or direction of travel from his truck. The area of the search already had snow covering up to 2 feet in depth on Tuesday when the victim was last seen. A subsequent winter storm on Wednesday and Thursday deposited an additional 12 to 14 inches of snow in the area, covering up any trace of the victim’s direction of travel. The search continued for 36 days with members logging over 800 man hours searching for the victim. On March 11, 2018 a local resident who was riding horseback on the Elk Fork Trail discovered the victim’s body 2.2 miles south of the trailhead. His body was evacuated by Search and Rescue and released to the county coroner who ruled the death was due to hypothermia.  The victim showed signs of being wet in his lower extrmities.  We assume that at some point the victim slipped or fell through the ice into Elks Fork Creek and secumbed to the below freezing temperatures after night fall.

WY11-03-17, BBSP Boat Recovery: On May 7, 2017 Search and Rescue set out to recover an abandoned kayak on an island in the north fork of the Shoshone River approximately ½ mile west of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. The kayak was first reported on May 6, 2017 and since there was no one reported around the kayak and there were no missing person’s reports overnight, it was decided to recover the kayak. This was done for two reasons: to stop the continued reports of seeing the vessel by those who passed by and to prevent anyone else from attempting to recover the craft as the river was running very deep and swift due to the winter runoff. At approximately 3:00 p.m., team members using a swift water pontoon boat recovered the kayak. It was subsequently returned to its owners.

WY11-04-17, Blackwater Search: On May 28, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. two 20-year-old male hikers were reported overdue from a hike up the Blackwater Trail on the North Fork. The victims had reportedly set off towards the Fireman’s Memorial earlier in the day and since they had not returned by nightfall, Search and Rescue was summoned. Ground teams immediately responded to the area however, before they could reach the trailhead, the victims returned. Search and Rescue response was cancelled.

WY11-05-17, Antelope Butte Evacuation: On June 8, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., Search and Rescue was notified of a 57 year old male from Louisiana was bicycling with his 14 year old son on Forest Service Road 110A east of Antelope Butte when the father fell from his cycle. He sustained a cut to his head and a possible separated shoulder. Due to the head injury, SAR immediately responded as did Crandall First Responders, an ambulance from West Park Hospital, and a helicopter from REACH Air Medical was notified. At 6:30 p.m., first responders and a deputy from the Park County Sheriff’s Office reached the victim. At that time, the deputy advised the injuries did not warrant further response. SAR personnel were cancelled at that time.

WY11-06-17, Glacier Lake Recovery: 
On Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 1:21 p.m., the Park County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center was notified by Carbon County Montana Sheriff’s Office of a severely injured skier just south of Glacier Lake in the Beartooth Mountains approximately 500 feet south of the Wyoming/Montana state line. Carbon County deputies, Red Lodge Montana Search and Rescue, and a Life Flight helicopter from St. Vincent Medical Center in Billings were dispatched to the scene.  The 19 year old male victim was climbing up a steep, rocky “chute” with his sister, when he apparently fell some 2,000 feet, tumbling down the mountain. He and his sister had both climbed up the “chute”, however after approximately 1,000 feet, his sister decided not to go any further. The victim then climbed an additional 1,000 feet alone before falling.  Members of the area ski patrol reached the victim and immediately began CPR, however after approximately 40 minutes with no results; they discontinued their life-saving efforts. He died of apparent severe head and chest trauma. He was not wearing a helmet. His body was evacuated by Red Lodge SAR and flown to Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody by Life Flight and turned over to the Park County Coroner.

WY11-07-17, Red Creek Evacuation:  On Saturday, July 8th, the Park County Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) working in conjunction with Tip Top Search and Rescue out of Sublette County and REACH Air Medical, safely evacuated an injured horseback rider from the Red Creek area of the North Fork approximately 6 miles north of Pahaska Teepee.  The victim, a 61 year old female from Barrington, Rhode Island was participating in a trail ride when her horse stumbled and fell on top of her. She suffered a compound fracture of the lower left leg, several broken ribs and a possible bruised lung.  The call came in to the Park County Communications Center at 4:37 p.m. Park County SAR was immediately activated and deployed to the area along with a helicopter from REACH Air Medical. At 6:08 p.m., REACH was able to locate the victim, however due to thick tree cover and uneven terrain they were unable to land safely. Instead they were forced to land over a mile from her. Their medics then hiked in to stabilize her injuries.  At that time, it was decided to summon a second helicopter with “short haul” capabilities from Tip Top Search and Rescue in Sublette County. “Short haul” is a means of patient evacuation with one or more rescuers and litter suspended beneath the helicopter. Tip Top SAR arrived on scene at 7:43 p.m., and was able to safely evacuate the victimat 8:31 p.m. She was flown to the REACH helicopter and subsequently airlifted to Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana.

WY11-08-17, Gibbs Bridge Evacuation: On Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 10:13 a.m., Park County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a report of a 73-year-old male fisherman who had slipped and fell into the Shoshone River on the North Fork 1/2 mile west of Gibbs Bridge and broke his right ankle. The victim was stranded on a small gravel bar. Search and Rescue immediately responded to the area with a swift water team and two spider boats. A SAR aircraft was deployed to direct and observe. The patient was stabilized and eventually evacuated down river to the Gibbs Bridge boat ramp and to an awaiting ambulance.

WY11-09-17, Gardiner Search: On Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 5:37 p.m., Park County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a report of two female hikers that were overdue.  The women were dropped off at 10:30 a.m. at the Gardiner Headwall Trail which is located off Highway 212 (Beartooth Highway) at milepost 34.  The plan was to meet up with one of the victim's husband at 3:00 p.m. at the Houser Lake trail head.  Since the women were over two hours late, the husband contacted the Park County Sheriff's Office.  Search and Rescue was immediately activated.  Ground search teams were deployed to the scene.  At 7:20 p.m. both females wandered into the camp ground by Houser Lake trail head.  Both were unhurt.  Search was then cancelled.

WY11-10-17, Clarks Fork Canyon Recovery: A Cody couple died on Friday, August 4, 2017 when their ATV side-by-side tumbled off of the Morrison Jeep Trail. The call came in at 2:47 p.m. reporting the crash with one confirmed fatality and one critically injured. A Park County deputy was immediately dispatched to the canyon as were members of the county’s Search and Rescue Unit, Clark Fire, Clark First Responders, an ambulance from Powell Valley Hospital and a helicopter from REACH Air Medical Services. At 3:25 p.m., REACH Air Medical was able to land their helicopter in the canyon ½ mile from the crash scene. Their medical personnel were then transported to the scene where they pronounced both husband and wife deceased. While no one actually witnessed the crash, statements from the victim’s companions and evidence at the scene indicated that the couple had attempted to negotiate a hairpin turn in the trail and took the switchback too wide. They then attempted to back up to get a better angle on the turn but in doing so, accidentally backed over the edge and tumbled down four levels of the trail before the ATV came to rest on its top in the middle of the trail below. Both victims were eventually recovered by members of the Park County Search and Rescue Unit with assistance from Clark Fire.

WY11-11-17, High Line Rescue: On Friday, August 18, 2017 at 1:57 p.m., Park County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a report of a 64 year old male that had been kicked by a horse and sustained a compound fracture of the lower leg. The victim was located just off of the High Line Trail approximately 3 miles east of the Beartooth Highway and 1.5 miles north of Deep Lake. Search and Rescue was immediately activated and deployed both its search airplane and two ground teams. A medical helicopter was also dispatched to the scene from Yellowstone Regional Airport. At 3:24 p.m., the medical helicopter reached the victim and evacuated him to a hospital in Billings, Montana. Search and Rescue was then cancelled.


WY11-12-17, Trout Ranch Rescue: On Thursday, August 24th, the Park County Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) responded to the report of a commercially guided raft that had flipped over on the Shoshone River stranding its occupants on the shoreline. The call came into the Sheriff’s 911 Communications Center at 5:46 p.m.  A group of rafters became stranded on the shore across from the Trout Ranch just downstream from the junction of Idaho Creek.  Their raft had overturned and became pinned against a rock in the swift current. The shoreline in that area was too steep for the victims to climb.  Search and Rescue immediately responded and floated two swift-water pontoon boats across the river to the shoreline where the victims were located.  They were able to quickly evacuate the victims, floating them down river to the “take out” point beneath the Corbett Bridge.  The victims included eight adults and four children in three separate parties from Iowa, England and Australia.  They were cold but otherwise unharmed.

WY11-13-17, Deer Creek Rescue: On August 24th, a second call came into the Communications Center at 8:50 p.m.  The reporting party advised that he had received a text from his son, who was in the back country on a horseback/camping trip.  The text simply said, “Deer Creek please.”  The coordinates of the text pinpointed the location of the son to be on the Deer Creek Trail approximately 3 miles from the trail head.  The son was not expected to return from his camping trip so soon.  Since the message was vague but could easily indicate an emergency, two SAR ground teams were deployed to the Deer Creek trail head which is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Cody down the South Fork Highway.  The reporting party in the meantime texted his son asking if he “needed help.”  His son responded “yes.”  Contact was then lost.  Despite night time conditions, SAR made the decision to hike into Deer Creek on foot with medical and mountain rescue gear to search for the victim. A Park County Sheriff’s deputy had also began to hike into Deer Creek prior to SAR’s arrival.  After approximately 30 minutes, at 10:41 p.m., the deputy came upon the victim who was on horseback. He discovered that the victim was only requesting his father come to the trail head for transportation back to Cody. He was unharmed and was in no need of rescue or medical aid.

WY11-14-17, Mormon Creek Rescue:  On Sunday, August 27th, the Park County Search and Rescue Unit (SAR) working in conjunction with medical personnel from West Park Hospital and REACH Air Medical, safely evacuated an apparent heart attack victim from the Mormon Creek area of the North Fork approximately 1/2 mile north of milepost 6 on Highway 14-16-20 west.  The victim from the University of Utah was participating in field trip in an extremely rugged area of the North Fork when he suffered symptoms indicating a possible heart attack. The call came in to the Park County Communications Center at 3:38 p.m.  Park County SAR was immediately activated and deployed to the area along with medical personnel from West Park Hospital.  At 3:57 p.m., responding personnel was able to reach the victim and assess his condition. At that time, medical personnel on scene requested a helicopter from REACH Air Medical respond rather than attempting to evacuate the patient using a wheeled litter down an extremely steep drainage.  At approximately 4:31 p.m., REACH was able to land and evacuate Whitt directly to a Billings hospital.

WY11-15-17, Pass Creek Evacuation: On September 26, 2017 at 10:01 a.m., Park County 911 Dispatch Center was notified via satellite phone of a male hunter possibly having a heart attack in the back country. The reporting party could not give their exact location but stated they were off the Ishawooa Trail at the head waters of Pass Creek. Search and Rescue was activated to assist in getting a better location of the victim in order to launch Guardian Air Medical helicopter. The helicopter launched and after researching available maps and terrain, SAR personnel was able to give Guardian the approximate coordinates of the victim. At 11:04 Guardian was able to locate the victim. They landed, treated the victim and then transported him to the Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings, Montana.

WY11-16-17, Russell Creek Search:  At 11:30 p.m. on October 9, 2017 a female contacted the Park County Dispatch Center to report that her 71 year old husband and 28 year old son had gone hunting in the Russell Creek area at 3:45 p.m. She further stated that they usually check in at 7:30 p.m. but she had not heard from them. At 00:30 a.m. on October 10, 2017, Search and Rescue was activated. SAR deployed a ground team to the area at 01:45 a.m. however shortly thereafter, the original reporting party was contacted by a deputy. She advised that she had received a text from the missing men advising they were OK. SAR response was canceled.


 

 
For Emergencies
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DISPATCH CENTER


Non-Emergency Numbers
Cody:
  (307) 527-8700
Powell: (307) 754-8700

Sheriff’s Civil Process &
Administration:

Office Hours: 
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Cody:   (307) 527-8710
Powell: (307) 754-8710

General Fax Number:
Cody:   (307) 527-8708
Powell: (307) 754-8708

Sheriff’s Detention Center:
Cody:   (307) 527-8750
Powell: (307) 754-8750

Detention Center Administrative Assistant:
(307) 527-8714 or
(307) 754-8714

Location:
Park County/ Cody Law
Enforcement Center
1402 River View Drive
Cody, WY 82414


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