Larimer County Search and Rescue
Mission Reports 2013
CURRENT GREY ROCK FIND LOCATIONS
### BEGIN MISSION REPORTS 2013 ###
MOST RECENT MISSIONS ARE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
At approximately 1:30am a call was received from Emergency Services Specialist reference a possible subject still missing from a rollover accident on 38E near Stout, CO at the south end of Horsetooth Reservoir. We were asked to stage at the corner of 38E and Taft Hill rd. until they confirm if in fact there was another person. We responded with 5 members and held off putting more pages out till we had confirmation. PFA and deputies were searching and following up on leads while we waited. It was eventually determined that we were no longer needed unless they came up with more information about the missing subject and if in fact he was in the car. The team was stood down at approximately 2:30am and everyone returned home.
5 SAR members (6 hours)
1 ES Specialist
Several PFA trucks and crews
Several Larimer County Deputies
Approximately 15:12 Sar manager was paged ref. a missing 77 year old male in Loveland that walked away from his home. He was new to Colorado having moved from California on the 12th. The team was paged to respond direct to a staging area near the home. A second Sar Manager arrived on scene and started deploying teams into the area either by car to cover roads or foot teams covering fields. 3 Dog teams were started in the area to help get clues on direction of travel. Deputies had already searched about a square mile area of roads from the residence and followed up on numerous reports after a reverse 911 call went out.
Approximately 18:20, a call came in from the West 4500 block of Hwy 34 of a man matching his description at the door of a residence. Deputies were dispatched to the area and confirmed that it was in fact the subject we were looking for and he was found to be in good spirits and was uninjured and retuned home.
18 SAR members responded
1 – Emergency Services Specialist
Many – Larimer County Deputies, investigators and PIO
#### PRESS RELEASE ####
Contact: Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Nick Christensen, Executive Officer
Public Information Office - 970-980-2501
Subject: Missing Person
A seventy-seven year old male, Gilberto Hurtado (DOB 07/30/36), was reported missing earlier today.
Larimer County Sheriff's Office Deputies and Emergency Services personnel were dispatched to the area.
Mr. Hurtado was last seen at approximately 1 PM in the 5800 block of Mossycup Ct. in Loveland. He is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, approximately 130 pounds with silver hair, brown eyes and a cut over the left eye. Please see attached photograph. He was reportedly wearing a navy blue zip-up hoodie with faux sheep skin lining on the hood, blue shirt, black jeans and brown shoes. He has Alzheimer's disease.
The public's assistance is requested in locating Mr. Hurtado. Anyone with information related to the whereabouts of Mr. Hurtado should contact Larimer County Sheriff's Office dispatch at (970)416-1985 or Investigator Jonathan Cox at (970)567-4863.
#### PRESS RELEASE ####
Contact: Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Rafael Sanchez, Patrol Sergeant
Red Swings, Patrol Division - 970-682-0565
Subject: Update to Missing Person
On 12/26/2013 at approximately 1820 hours, the seventy-seven year old male, Gilberto Hurtado (DOB 07/30/36), who had been reported a missing earlier today, was found by citizens in the 4500 block of W. Eisenhower Blvd in Loveland, CO. He was found to be in good spirits and was uninjured. He was returned to his family in Loveland.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office would like to express its gratitude to the public for the multitude of tips and calls from concerned citizens in attempting to find Mr. Hurtado.
2047 hours: Page from dispatch for on call SAR manager to contact O2 (ES specialist). O2 advised of a reporting party who called in from a cell phone. Party inidicated they (2 males) were on top of Greyrock, and stranded because they had no lights and could not find their way off the top. They referenced being near the “south slab”. They had no water, but otherwise were reported to be ok. They were not cliffed out.
Dispatch had been able to obtain coordinates of the cell phone call.
2104 hours: a page was sent to LCSAR for limited resources, requesting 5 members for a hasty team. Because the location of the parties was known, and they were uninjured, other types of resources from the team were not needed. The 5 team members responded direct and non-emergent to Greyrock.
The SAR personnel were divided into two teams, and fielded at about 2206 hours. At 2245 hours one of the teams made contact with the missing males who were on the trail headed down. The missing parties had one headlamp and a smartphone flashlight, and were uninjured.. Both SAR teams escorted the subjects to the parking lot, and arrived at the cars about 2315 hours.
ES specialist: 1
LCSAR members: 7 (including SAR manager and ITC)
Hours: 19 hours
Miles: 120 miles
No other agencies involved.
2135 hours: Page from dispatch for on call SAR manager to contact ES specialist. ES advised there was a couple hiking Greyrock, that started their hike at 1600 hours. They had not been to Greyrock before, but had maps. At lower junction, female took the Meadows Trail and male took the Greyrock trail. They had planned to meet at the bench. She arrived, but the male was not there. She returned to the car, waited and hour and then went to a neighboring house to call the sheriff. There was a high wind warning in effect.
ES requested a direct non-emergent response of 10-12 searchers & dogs. There were no known medical issues.
2158 hours: before a page could be sent to the SAR team for resources, the male party returned to the car, and was ok. The team was stood down before anyone was fielded or responded.
ES specialist: 1
SAR manager: 1
no other agencies involved.
23:15, page for SAR manager to call Justin W. ref. search for missing subject from a car accident in the area of CR5 and South CR 3 (South of Timnath). Subject ran from accident, crossed the Poudre River and may have swam across. Mix information at the time. Because of the snow and cold temps, it was decided to get the SAR team out in case subject was hypothermic and in trouble.
We rounded up 10 members of trackers, dog teams and searchers. Staging was at South Walmart at I- 25 and Harmony. The fire department and deputies had already been looking for the individual before we were called. It was determined that the area had been covered well by both agencies and if the subject wanted to be found, he would have been found. We were stood down at 00:17.
LCSAR members: 10
Emergency Services: 1
Unknown number of Firefighters and SO Deputies
Submitted by SAR manager Dave Hake
Broken fence posts mark the site where a man crashed into the fence and then fled into the Poudre River on Thursday evening, according to authorities. / Trevor Hughes/The Coloradoan
Written by Trevor Hughes, The Coloradoan
TIMNATH — A man accused of crashing his SUV into a fence in Timnath on Thursday night and then fleeing into the nearby Poudre River was arrested Friday after his boss turned him in.
The Colorado State Patrol said Edwin Alvarado, 36, was cited for driving without a license or insurance and leaving the scene of an accident following the crash around 10 p.m. Witnesses said Alvarado rolled his SUV into a wire fence on County Road 5 just south of Harmony Road, hopped the fence and ran into the nearby river.
Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies fanned out into the surrounding fields as heavy snow fell, carrying flashlights and thermal imaging cameras in an effort to find the man. They called off the search at midnight and arrested Alvarado on Friday morning after his boss at a nearby equine facility called CSP.
Alvarado was not hurt in the crash. He was also cited for careless driving, CSP said.
0837 hours: SAR team received a page from dispatch to contact one of the sheriff deputies reference a missing male. 0924 hours, the SAR manager group received a page from ES to contact S17 regarding a missing male on CR29. Per S17, the reporting party (wife of the subject) indicated the missing subject was last seen at 2200 hours the previous night in his home. When she woke at 0300 hours, he was gone. However, the subject's vehicle and cell phone were still at the house. The subject had some medical conditions, but none which were immediately life threatening or anticipated to be related to his disappearance. S17 provided a name and physical description of the subject.
0950 hours, LCSAR was paged for a response by dogs and searchers to stage for a search for the missing 63 yoa male. The team staged at 1045 hours. Within about 30 minutes 12 SAR member, with 2 search dogs, trackers & searchers were on scene at the subject's residence. Over the next several hours, teams conducted various assignments including: trackers checking for sign of the subject's footprints, dog teams checking for subject's scent in various directions from the house, door to door contact and checking back yards and outbuilding of neighboring properties, clearing areas of dense trees with searchers and dogs, and checking the perimeter of the area including water ditches and river access.The area in general had good natural containment on 3 boundaries, creating a relatively moderate size but limited initial search area.
As of 1600 hours, the subject had not been located by LCSAR, despite an extensive search of the area, with high probability of detection, Further, there were no additional clue found. In other words, there were no signs of the subjects footprints, no indication by the dogs of the subject's scent in the area (other than scent possibly come from the house), and no physical clues found by other foot teams or those who interviewed neighbors, As a result, the search by LCSAR was suspended at 1600 hours, pending additional clues or information. Additional leads were follow up by the sheriff's department during the day, as well as after SAR suspended the search around the subject's residence.
At approximately 1800 hours, LCSAR was notified that the subject had been seen in one or more stores in Loveland earlier that morning. The subject appeared to be fine, and later reunited with his family. And thus the missing report was deemed unfounded, and the subject was not in the search area (or even lost) at the time of the search operations.
LCSAR members: 14, including SAR manager and ITC
ES specialists: 1
SO deputies: 2
LCSAR hours: 98 hours
LCSAR miles driven: 260 miles
0509 hours: ES paged the on call SAR manager, regarding a possible search. O2 (from ES) advised the SARM that a reporting party had spoken with a deputy about the RP's daughter. RP indicated that he received a call from his daughter, who said she was in the Rawahs, and was lost and cold and hurt. RP believed she had gone camping with a guy, and had concerns about her well-being. No other information was available at that moment (no description of vehicle, description of subject, possible trail head or vehicle location, etc.)
The deputy and O2 were going enroute to the area of the Rawahs, to try to locate a vehicle. Due to the limited info available, and lack of last known point, O2 just wanted to put LCSAR on standby.
0900 hours: O2 advised they were unable to locate a vehicle. The deputy and O2 were clearing from the area, and no response was needed from LCSAR.
Second hand info available later in the day indicated the cell phone had been pinged by law enforcement, and the phone appeared to be in the Denver area.
No LCSAR members were fielded, and no pages were sent to the entire team.
20:09 - Initial page for SAR manager to call O3
20:55 - Page for ITC to call SAR manager re: Search in the “Budweiser” area.
21:02 – Team is paged for a resource request to be on standby for a search
21:19 – Requested resources are tasked to stage at CR58 & I25
22:19 – 3 dog teams begin an air scent search covering the area bordered by CO Hwy1 and Giddings road on the West, E CR60 on the north, E CR 56 on the south, and I25 on the East. The following text details who the search was for.
The Fort Collins Police Services is asking for the public’s help in locate a missing and endangered juvenile male, Daniel Patane. Patane is a white male, 5'10", weighing 185 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Patane was last seen wearing a black shirt, blue jeans, flip flops, and carrying a brown blanket patterned with dog faces with a red border; worn like a cape. Patane was last seen walking northbound on the west side of I-25 near the Budweiser plant around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, 2013.
The teams searched until 00:30 on Monday with no significant interests from the dogs. All members were clear of the field and demobilized by 00:53
ES Personnel: 1
SAR Managers: 2
LCSAR Members: 6
Miles Driven: 135
Original page at 0033 hrs: PRI !LCSAR From L07035:SAR, NEED DIRECT RESPONSE TO SUNRISE PICNIC AREA, 591 S CR23, FOR A FALLEN INDIVIDUAL WHO NEEDS TO BE CARRIED OUT. EMILY/COMM>
Adult male fell down rocks below Sunrise Picnic Area sustaining head injury and requiring carryout. SAR team responded with other agencies and carried subject in litter about half a mile up rocky terrain to waiting ambulance and transported to Poudre Valley Hospital.
Stand down page for members not on scene: 0128 hrs
SAR Members clear from scene at 0200 hrs
SAR Members responding: 11 (including ITC and SAR manager)
SAR Member Hours 27.5
SAR Member miles driven POV=160, SAR Truck 10=16
ES Specialists = 1
Other Agencies responding: Poudre Fire Authority, Northern Colorado Health Ambulance and TEMS/SORT Team, Larimer County Park Rangers, Larimer County Sheriffs.
9-12-2013 Flood Assist – 8:34am, Thursday, we received a page from Emergency Services reference assist to Loveland Fire to assist with getting people from one side of the Big Thompson Canyon River to the other. This call was somewhat expected because we’ve had non-stop rain for several days leading up to this, and flash flooding was starting to happen in several canyons in Larimer as well as Boulder County.
We sent 7 people and Truck 10 down to attempt to reach an area just west of Drake, CO. The canyon had already been closed because of roads washing out in places, but we were told they were letting emergency vehicles through. I had to collect names of those responding so we could give them to CDOT who was staffing the road block. By the time the crew arrived at the road block, reports of more sections washing out had been aired. They would not let our crew through because of the danger. Reports were coming in of roads getting soft and moving up and down as large fire trucks rolled over them. The team was put on stand-by and those that responded turned around since there was no way of getting to the location. It was a good thing our team was stopped as they could have ended up on the list of those missing.
We were starting to hear about the heroic rescues that were being performed by Loveland Fire, Emergency Service personnel and locals that lived in the canyon. The rain continued to come down… and there was nothing we could do at the time. We could only prepare and be ready for ‘anything’ that might come down the line and help in any way we could. The only way into some of these areas would be helicopter and they were being re-routed to Boulder County to help with the many subjects that needed evacuated there as well. Estes Park was also getting flash floods and water running through town. We have a few members up in Estes, and they helped where ever they could. Some members were working at the hospital, YMCA camp, and the neighborhoods they lived in. The rain continued into the evening. Two of our members were called in around midnight to move the SAR trucks from our building located on north Shields and next to the Poudre River. There was a risk of it being flooded.
9-13-13, day 2: With the rains still continuing, more and more roads were closed due to flooding of the Big Thompson, the Buckhorn Canyon and the Poudre River. Our team was now separated by high flowing rivers. We determined how many were available, and in which areas of the flooding so we could be prepared to respond. The rain continued to ground many of the air resources so again, we were stuck in town and not able to respond. It was driving many of our team member crazy, because they wanted to help in any way they could, but we were unable to get to the places that needed the most help. We were able to bring one of the trucks to the “middle” section of town before all roads that crossed the Poudre River were closed.
Finally around 4:00pm, we had a request for ‘eight’ members to assist with medical helicopter support in the morning. This would be an easy order to fill since we had over 80 members call in. Incident Command was planning on several helicopters arriving in the morning. Teams will be made up of a SAR member, a Sheriff Office member, and Poudre Fire Authority members.
9-14-13, day 3, Saturday: Nine members were at Christman field on the west side of Ft. Collins ready to go at 6:30 am. Teams were made up and the plans were discussed to determine which teams were going to which areas as we waited for the helicopters to arrive. We only have a few ships for today because again Boulder County was still evacuating people. Finally around 10:00am, the first ship took off with crews.
I’m not going to try and cover all the stories of what happened in the field. There will be a collection of photos and possibly stories from the field assembled by other team members and posted here later.
With 3 Chinooks, 2 Black Hawks and a Lakota ship, many people were evacuated with the help of the teams and even more importantly because of the exceptional organization that was already in place at the mountain communities when the helicopters arrived. Local firefighters and leaders that lived in those communities had already contacted many of the people in immediate need of evacuation. They had a list of supplies needed and who needed to go first. The main focus of today was to pull out the injured, sick, elderly, kids, and those that needed to come out to take care of them. It was a very successful day for the limited air resources. All members were out of the field by 18:00 because that’s when air operations needed to be shut down because of darkness and pilot flight hours.
Operations requested the ‘same nine’ for tomorrow. Requesting the same nine made sense because everyone knew the teams and they knew what to do… but we had over 80 members that really wanted to help out so I had to make a decision. All of our members are quick learners and every one of them is capable of doing the task that needed to be done - so I picked others from the list. We rounded up 10 members for the next day. I also decided to bring in 12 more members (6 for a morning shift and 6 for an afternoon shift) just to help around heli base in unloading subjects, setting up shelters, carrying water and food, etc.
9-15-13, day 4, Sunday: Everyone was ready again at 0630 but the rain had started up again last night and briefing wasn’t until 0800. The teams were made up and assignments were made but no one was going anywhere without helicopters and the ships were grounded due to weather… so we waited… and waited… all day. The clouds and rain never lifted all day. We finally left heli base around 1700. A collection of names for tomorrow was gathered and there was also a request for members up in Estes to assist in the evacuation process up there.They were coordinated by 2 Emergency Service personnel that had been isolated up there since the event started.
USAR teams (Urban Search and Rescue) from Missouri and Nevada were arriving and getting geared up to take the incident over. We will still have members assigned to each team for local information and assisting them in checking homes and structures.
9-16-13, day 5, Monday: We arranged for 13 members to field with USAR teams. As expected, it took longer to coordinate the larger groups and getting into the field and waiting for the clouds to lift. We had 14 -16 ships flying in around 11:00 and ready to load teams. It was about 13:09 when the first team lifted off. After that they were flying non-stop bringing evacuees out of the areas that were cut off from the flood. It was a very productive day with everyone working well together.
We also had a request for four more of our member to assist with logistic items for ICP. Sandy Jordan stepped up to coordinate those tasks. They delivered tents, water, food and other items around the county and heli base. We also had the Estes Park contingency assisting National Guard in evacuating people and convincing locals it was time to leave.
We had several teams that needed to spend the night up in the areas due to heli-ops shutting down at 18:00. Teams also volunteered to stay overnight to assist the locals in winterizing homes before pulling them out in the morning.
9-17-13, day 6, Tuesday: We had 10 ready to field with the USAR teams, another 6 to assist with logistics and the Estes Park group. It was more of the same as they pushed back farther into the mountain communities convincing people that it’s now or never. Many of the locals were prepared to spend a long time up there, but many didn’t realize just how bad the roads have washed out and that it would be a very long time before roads were established.
I had to recruit another SAR manager to take over for me tomorrow so I could get back to work. Again, some teams had to (or volunteered to) spend the night to assist, to assist the USAR teams for as long as they could. Air operations shut down around 18:00.
9-18-13, day 7, Wednesday: We had another 13 for the field, 6 for logistics and 4 in Estes Park. Jose Negron took over for me on this day and the next 2 days, so I won’t have much information for those days. It was starting to wind down (as far as the numbers pulled out) but the USAR teams needed to document that each house was checked for residents and make sure they knew what the roads were like. Many people up in those areas are cut off from the world on purpose and don’t have phone, tv, or internet, so we were required to check on everyone. Again, more team members stayed the night to assist.
9.18.13 (Jose), day 7, Wednesday: (For Christman Field) Today, 4 team members that had spent the night out in the field returned. We fielded another 6 members (3 teams) and 2 other team members stayed at bees on stand-by. Of the fielded team 2 were deployed to the Stringtown Gulch area and 1 to Buckhorn. (the rest is correct from Dave’s report: It was starting to wind down (as far as the numbers pulled out) but the USAR teams needed to document that each house was checked for residents and make sure they knew what the roads were like. Many people up in those areas are cut off from the world on purpose and don’t have phone, tv, or internet, so we were required to check on everyone. - but no members spent the night out.
9-19-13, day 8, Thursday: Jose was sar manager but it looks like they had another 10 to field, 4-6 for logistics, and the Estes Park crew.
9.19.13 (Jose), day 8, Thursday: (For Christman Field) A total of 8 team members fielded checking houses and delivering supplies. Teams went to Stringtown Gulch, Storm Mountain, and Dakota Ridge. Two team members stayed at base on stand-by. Few people evacuated.
9-20-13, day 9, Friday: Jose ran what looks like 8 field members, Sandy had a few logistics people and Estes Park crew were winding down and were not needed.
9.20.13 (Jose), day 9, Friday: (For Christman Field) Two team members fielded to Storm Mountain checking homes. Two team members on stand-by at base. Few people evacuated.
9-21, 13, Saturday: We had the weekend off. The USAR teams were still flying in a few teams, but we were not needed.
I need to point out that all of our members are volunteers, or as we call ourselves, “Unpaid Professionals”. Many members spent countless hours assisting families and ‘animals’ from the evacuation area. We still had many on standby waiting to assist in any possible way they could. Many assisted in the evacuation centers and clean up outside of their LCSAR affiliation and in other places that they could find that needed their help. We have some very giving people on our team and I’m proud of them!
In total, we had 61 members participate, with a total of just over 1,400 hours.
Submitted by Sar Manager Dave Hake
The rain started the second week of September. At first it was reminiscent of the east coast where it can rain for days and days with no one taking notice. Along the Front Range in the foothills of Colorado the ground is rock hard with wetland moisture absorbency almost unheard of. Quite suddenly, it seemed those canyon signs “In case of flood climb to safety” took on a sense of immediacy.
We were first called out on Thursday morning. The page said - A family was stranded on the “wrong” side of the Big Thompson and asked if we could help Loveland Fire walk them out. The page suggested we bring our PFDs. Mine is a high quality kayaking jacket designed for white water. I have always felt snugly secure in it even in class 3 waters. I also had my kayaking helmet along. Never enter swift water without your brain bucket.
By the time we were travelling west on US 34 in Loveland my stomach was telling me this was bigger than I had imagined. We were stopped at several police barriers already, and were not even close to the canyon yet. At each checkpoint the police let us through and we continued toward our subjects. As we passed the Big Thompson Elementary School, I noticed the absence of vehicles in the parking lot. Oh, they must have closed school! Then I took note of the five foot standing wave in the river across the street. My stomach lurched. Maybe responding to this mission was not among my best ideas.
Moving along more slowly now, we passed Glade Road and the park alongside it. Actually the park was not visible, just a roiling sea of water. The decorative fences and picnic benches were hidden below the water level. Our final delay at the Dam Store was lengthy. The Loveland fire truck and a county Emergency Services vehicle were about 10 minutes ahead of us in the canyon, and we were to wait for their request to follow. Watching the river ahead of us, I felt my stomach practicing our Search and Rescue knots – figure 8? Bowline on a bight?
Finally the word was passed back to each of us to re-stage back in town at the K-Mart. I felt guilty relief as we headed back. Our mobile radios informed us that Hwy 34 had just collapsed behind the fire truck. We would certainly not be assisting on this mission.
The rain continued and the TV news was dedicated to the flooding around Larimer and Boulder Counties. Saturday morning a page went out looking for a handful of team members willing to participate in helicopter evacuations. Most of our team members regard heli ops as the most exciting thing we do. I am not among them. I hunkered down at home, stayed dry, watched the news, monitored my radio, and waited for a page requesting feet on the ground type help. That finally happened on Monday morning.
Dave, the SAR manager on duty, called and asked if I could assemble three other members and the four of us then drive supplies from the FEMA base at the Budweiser Events Center to the various strike camps. Following Dave’s instructions we picked up three county trucks and an Expedition and reported to the FEMA Logistics Chief.
I introduced our group as members of LCSAR (all of us in our official blaze orange team shirts). We were: me, a short 66 year old grey haired lady; Katy, 34 years old and equally short; Michael, 24 with a mild facial deformity and a hearing device attached to the side of his head; Dan, a six foot strapping 52 year old man.
Dan was immediately asked to help a FEMA guy load two dozen jerry cans of fuel onto one of the pickups and deliver it to the heliport at Chrisman Field. Then the logistics chief turned the three of us over to Rick, the director of ground support. Rick was a tall, hefty man, retired forest service turned FEMA executive. He quickly assessed his new drivers and asked us if we had valid driver’s licenses. Apparently our word was not good enough for FEMA. We had to produce them and let Rick examine them. Clearly he had a lot of concern about this team from the local sheriff. As we followed him out to parking lot B, which would become our home office for the next week, I observed the general ambiance of a FEMA Incident Command Post.
Most noticeable, the air was thick with testosterone, one of the original weapons of mass destruction. Legions of men were strutting about with somber faces, hips thrust forward, with no obvious destination in mind.
In Parking Lot C the Nevada and Missouri urban task forces were setting up their mini village. One hundred sixty big men, uniformed in black, heavy duty steel tipped boots wrapping their feet, 65 pound packs including gas masks hanging off their backs, moved purposefully through the lot between yurts and semis bursting with ATVs and boats. I noticed a few dog kennels and wandered into their territory. A very tall man was holding a leash so I asked if he was a dog handler. He replied with a brisk “yes.” So I mentioned that I was part of LCSAR and we had over 100 members who were trained to support dog handlers. If he had any use for a support person – for navigation, carrying extra dog supplies, etc. – I could get him some volunteers in no time. He stared down at me as if I were under his shoe and then muttered gruffly, “We don’t do that.”
So back in Parking Lot B we were introduced to the triplicate supply request forms and instructed ad nauseum as to which color went to whom. We were quizzed and interviewed for nearly an hour about our ability to back up a vehicle without ever getting even close to convincing Rick of our skills. The Command Post was being erected based on every other FEMA incident according to a seasoned menu. Huge light fixtures were trailered to Parking Lot B, even though the parking lot had an array of lights adequate for the Event Center’s many evening activities and even though the FEMA operations closed down each evening before nightfall and even though there was nothing to light up except the 4 county vehicles that would be parked there overnight.
Rick mentioned that one of our missions would be to bring 3 meals each day to all the personnel at the heliport. But the Incident Command Post is not a point of urgency. We found that a lot of potential plans were made, but until a supply request form was filled out and delivered no real action occurred. So we talked about meals on Monday. We talked about meals on Tuesday. Wednesday morning we delivered the first hot breakfast. I’m not sure what everyone was eating until then, or if they were even hungry.
Meanwhile, Chrisman Field was hopping. Chinooks and Black Hawks flew mission after mission landing in stricken areas to help those in need of evacuation. While we’ve heard many stories about the hardened backcountry citizens who refused, the vast majority of folks were happy to be rescued. The National Guard, Hot Shots, Task Force units, and SAR members joined a variety of Larimer County assistance groups ushering evacuees, their pets, and their belongings from their mountain communities to temporary shelters in town.
By the following Monday the only thing left to do was rebuild. We drivers shuttled truckloads of materials in reverse and FEMA packed up and drove away. In our after action review meetings the ES deputies were apologetic about not making more use of the SAR and Dive Rescue teams. There was so much infrastructure damage that the helicopters were the only reasonable vehicles to reach the people in trouble.
As for me, my most significant contribution to the mission was heroically to control my New Jersey instincts. That is, NOT to tell Rick he was a condescending asshole. -- Sandy JMRA MERIDIAN NEWSLETTER Fall 2013 - Colorado Floods
First page to the team out at 12:48 pm: SAR MEMBERS, NEED 10-12 SEARCHERS, DOGS AND TRACKERS FOR SEARCH IN CREEDMORE LAKES AREA. MEET AT CACHE AT 1330. CALL ITC. COM/KW.
Subject was a 30-yr old male that was camping at Creedmore Lakes since Monday. He was last seen Tuesday morning and was reported missing Thursday morning by an acquaintance. Subject was reported to have only pants and shirt and no provisions. Night temperatures were in the 40's and 50's. Search started Thursday afternoon with 2 dog teams and 3 ground teams. Search focused in areas south and in the immediate vicinity of the lakes, and a northbound trail towards the North Fork of the Poudre and a drainage north of the trail. Some clues found but did not seemed relevant to the search. One dog alerted to the west from the SE corner of the lower lake. Two tracks were also found, one by the vehicle and one by the campsite but unknown if they were the subject's. Significant rainfall in the days since the subject went missing and prior to the search made tracking difficult.
A 2nd operation period started with a 6:30 briefing at the SAR cache on Friday. Three dog teams and one ground team fielded around 9:00 am. Due to limited resources the search focused in the areas below the lakes down to the parking with the objective of clearing the area thoroughly with as high POD as possible. Additional resources arrived later in the day. No significant clues were detected but two dogs showed interest to the west again across the lower lake. A four-person team with 2 SAR and 2 Diamond Peaks members and a 3-person team comprised of 2 SAR and 1 Diamond Peaks member were deployed towards a drainage to the west of the lower lake with the objective of clearing down to the North Fork of the Poudre. Teams were deployed there because primarily it was in the direction of dog interests and a known poorly defined trail that split from the main campground trail in the same general direction.
At 1500 hours team members encountered a disoriented individual that fit the description of the subject at the bottom of the drainage just across the river. After a few minutes team members were able to confirm his identity as the subject. The subject was confused with many scratches in his arms and legs and his feet were swollen. He was not wearing shoes at the time he was found. It was unknown if he would have been able to walk out or if there was going to be a need for a carryout. Eventually team members helped the subject walk to the top of the drainage where he was loaded in the litter and taken to ICP. He was taken then transported in a Red Feather EMS ambulance for an intercept with a Colorado Health ambulance (Poudre Valley Hospital).
Terrain in the search area was heavily wooded in parts and very rocky making it difficult to adequately clear areas and for searchers to negotiate. Rainfall during the 2-3 hours prior to locating the subject made the drainage challenging.
Additional activity: During both operational periods ES Specialists and a Sheriff Deputy covered roads in the area by ATVs and contacted campers and residences.
Subject found at UTM: 497, 230.
Team members cleared the scene Thursday 2300 and back in town 0015 hrs. On Friday cleared by 1715 hrs and back to town by 1830 hrs.
17 SAR Members (3 worked both operational periods)
3 Diamond Ski Patrol members
2 ES specialists
2 SAR Managers.
Other Agencies/Groups involved:
Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol
Red Feather Fire and Rescue
Colorado Health EMS.
SAR Member-hours = 196 (includes 3 Diamond Peaks members).
Number of Vehicles:
Personal Thursday 6
Personal Friday 8
SAR Truck 10 both days
Miles driven 1,508
Note: LCSAR is very grateful for the valuable cooperation of our partners: Diamond Peak Ski Patrol and Red Feathers Fire and Rescue.
SAR Managers: Sarah Babbitt and Jose Negron.
1602 hours: Initial page from dispatch for the SAR manager to contact O2 with Emergency Services reference 4 lost hikers off of FR309/Deadman. O2 advised that there were 4 lost hikers and that they were getting low on water. One of the people in the missing party had called in to 911 and dispatch was able to get a location for the call.
1619 hours: The ITC paged out for 8 searchers, dogs, trackers were need for 4 missing females on Deadman road. Stage at the Cache ASAP to carpool to the search area.
1700 hours: The members at the Cache departed and other that were in rout were told to respond direct to the search area.
There were several team members and O2 were responding direct and were a head of the team. The SAR member who arrived first was tasked with locating the vehicle. Team 1 was sent into the field and tasked with heading directly to the cell phone ping for the missing party. About 10 minutes after Team 1 was in the field, they reported hearing voices calling back. They continued to the voices and located the subjects at 1759.
The subjects were walked back to the road where they were then transported back to their vehicle. All SAR teams were called back to ICP and debriefed. All SAR members were clear of the area by 1840.
LCSAR: 13 (including SARM, SMIT, and ITC)
ES specialist: 1
LCSAR Hours: 3 hours X 13 people = 39 person-hours
LCSAR Miles: 92 miles X 13 = 1196 miles
2116 hours: ES advised that the campground host at Jack's Gulch campground, near Pingree Park, conacted the sheriff's office regarding two horseback riders that had not returned to their vehicle & trailer (and it was well after dark). Other 3rd parties had indicated the couple were "ill prepared" when they rode out of the campground.. However, no one had actually reported the couple missing yet.
The team was put on standby for a possible response. In the meantime, ES and the deputies were able to trace the vehicle, and contacted the son of one of the riders. The son advised that his mother was an experienced rider, and travel after dark would not be a significant concern. Based on that information (and the fact there were no known medical conditions or adverse weather), it was decided to delay a response.
2215 hours. The campground host advised the riders had returned, and they had self-recovered (if in fact they were ever lost). No response was needed by LCSAR.
LCSAR resources: 1 member (SAR manager)
LCSAR hours: 1 hour
Miles drive: none.
SO resources: 1 ES specialist and 1 deputy.
No other agencies involved.
1300 hours. Info was received from ES for a request for mutual aid from Rocky Mountain National Park, to assist in the carry out of a climber who had fallen in the area of Batman Pinnacle in the Lumpy Ridge area of the park. 8 LCSAR members were staged, and ready to respond to the park. The team was held at staging, pending a decision from the park regarding whether our resources would be needed. At 1513 hours the IC advised that the resources from LCSAR could be stood down.
Further information on this incident is available from RMNP: Lumpy Ridge Climbing Fatality
LCSAR resources: 9 members (including SAR manager)
LCSAR hours: 24 hours
Miles: 75 miles
1126 hours. ES paged SAR manager on-call regarding RMNP request for mutual aid from LCSAR for assistance with a carry out from Long's Peak area. LCSAR members staged at the RMNP SAR cache. Our resources were requested in the event the park needed an actual carry out of an injured hiker/climber. Weather permitted the patient to be flown out, and LCSAR members were not fielded.
1743 hours: All LCSAR resources were clear of the park cache.
Additional information regarding this incident is available from RMNP.
LCSAR: 8 members (including SAR manager and ITC)
LCSAR Hours: 35 hours
LCSAR Miles driven: 300 miles
Other agencies involved: RMNP Rangers
1827 page: On call SAR manager, please call Tony ref. carryout at Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp.
The patient was a 14-year-old male who had badly dislocated his knee, and was 2 to 3 miles up the trail from Sky Ranch. He was with his Boy Scout troop. This area is a long way from town, so we wanted to get resources moving in that direction as quickly as possible (it was ultimately about a 2-hour drive to the trailhead). And if it was truly going to be a carryout of a couple of miles, we needed lots of hands. I spoke with the In-town coordinator (ITC) and got on the road.
1845 page from ITC: All SAR, a large contingent is needed for an extended carryout for an injured 14 yo who is 2 -3 miles above Sky Camp.
1846 page: Staging will be at 1900 at the cache and a driver is needed for T10 (truck 10). Plan on being out most of the night.
1854 page: Clarification—It is 2 -3 miles above Sky Ranch Camp which is up toward Pingree Park. Still need many more resources.
A challenge to any mission in this area is that radio and cell communications are spotty along Poudre Canyon, and almost non-existent up toward Pingree Park and Sky Ranch. There is one spot on the Pingree Park Road where you can get enough coverage to send a text, and from where you can sometimes use our repeated SAR-1 channel and the 800 radios. This location, however, is still almost a half-hour from Sky Ranch. I stopped at this spot to try to connect with the ITC, to see how many people we had coming up. We decided we needed more hands, so more pages were sent out.
2013 page: Third request for more resources. This is going to be a hard night on those responding if we can't get more people. Please call ITC Mines if available.
We had 10 folks on the way, and a bit later 5 more were able to come up. We also had the ambulance and two paramedics from the Special Operations Resource Team (SORT) on the way. An added twist was that since one of the scoutmasters would be coming down with the patient, it meant the other scoutmaster would be alone with the rest of the troop, which is against their policy. Since we didn't have many SAR hands I didn't feel we could afford to leave one of our folks up there overnight to come down in the morning with the troop. Thankfully Emergency Services Specialist Tony Simons (our IC) offered to stay with the troop overnight so all SAR hands could work the carryout. (It was a gorgeous evening, so I suspect that secretly Tony wasn't all that upset about camping out up there. Just a guess..)
We had permission to drive across some private property, which took almost two miles off the distance the SAR folks would otherwise have to move the patient. So we drove past Sky Ranch all the way to the Comanche Reservoir dam. The main SAR team group left the trailhead at 2225, and were with the patient at 2316. (The UTM location of the Boy Scouts' camp was: 13T 0442804 4493227, for those of you following along on your maps.) In the mean time, 5 more SAR members had arrived and were on their way up the trail in two groups. The patient was assessed and packaged into the litter (see attached photo, courtesy of Mike Erickson), and the team was moving down the trail with him by 0015. Overall this trail is not terribly steep, but it has some "exciting" spots and it was still a long way, so all SAR hands were working plenty hard.
The group arrived back at the trailhead at 0230, where the patient was transferred to the ambulance (see second photo, also by Erickson). All personnel were clear of the trailhead by 0300, and all were back in town by 0500.
Another smooth mission, thanks to all the dedicated SAR personnel who were able to participate. The clear weather certainly didn't hurt, either. Good job, everybody, and thank you!
Sarah Babbitt, SAR Manager
LCSAR personnel: 18 (including ITC and SAR manager)
LCSAR vehicles: 1
Personal vehicles: 7
Agencies involved: Larimer County Emergency Services, Poudre Valley Hospital SORT, LCSAR
Hours---first pageout to all back in town: 10.5
LCSAR person-hours: 10.5 x 18 = 189
Miles driven in personal vehicles: 104 (round-trip) x 7 = 728
1924 Page: SAR team, per S17, please respond direct to MM114/Killer Bridge to assist dive team on the shore w/a woman stuck on a rock. Thanks.
1931 page: Dive/SAR/PC Fire ***Stand down*** Ref. call at MM114 on hwy 14, subject is enroute in a private vehicle to the hospital.
Fastest mission in history (or at least it's likely)!
LCSAR members: 7 (Including ITC and SAR manager)
LCSAR miles driven: 0
Time: 7 minutes x 7 people = 49 minutes
Other agencies: Larimer County Dive Rescue, Poudre Canyon Fire, Larimer County Emergency Services
Sarah Babbitt, SAR manager
11:30 Pager: SAR TEAM - PLEASE RESPOND TO THE ARTHURS ROCK TRAILHEAD TO ASSIST W/ CARRYOUT OF INJURED PERSON. CODE 1 RESONSE.
Subject was hiking and saw a rattle snake and tried to get away, fell and hurt her arm. She was not able to walk out on her own and called in for help. Two Lory State Park Rangers went into the field to located and assess her condition. It was decided that 5 SAR members, 2 SORT medics, and the ES specialist would drive up the service road to Arthur's rock and carry the subject back to the park ranger's vehicle. After reaching the subject it was determine that the better to take the subject down to the trailhead and not up the trail to the ranger's vehicle.
The additional SAR resources on scene but not yet in the field were fielded from the Arthur's Rock Trailhead to meet the group coming down the trail to assist with the carry out. The subject was transported to the ER by the SORT ambulance.
15:15 All team members clear of Authors Rock parking lot.
LCSAR SAR Manager: Jacob McDaniel
LCSAR members: 10 (including SARM and ITCs)
ES specialist: 1
Other agencies: TEMS (2), Lory State Park Rangers (2), citizen (1), PVH ambulance (2), PFA (unknown)
LCSAR hours: 3.75 hours duration; 37.5 person-hours
LCSAR miles: 8 x 10 = 80 miles
At 18:25 the duty SAR Manager, George Janson, was paged to call Dixon H. with RMRG. They were responding to Devils Thumb Lake for a medical emergency of a 17 year old male suffering from hypothermia with lack of motor control and still conscious. Access is via Hessie trailhead west of the town of Eldora. RMRG members left the trailhead at ~17:00, and it would be another ½ hour or so before they arrived on scene. Hessie trail to Devils Thumb Lake is 5.5 miles with 2,100 feet elevation gain for about three hours hiking time.
The carryout would be at least three hours duration, they needed an additional 15 folks and they were also tasking Alpine Rescue for personnel, though ART advised Dixon that they and Douglas SAR had just completed a 9-hour joint field training, and few folks would likely respond.
I contacted the on-call ES (Kevin) to relay the request and got their authorization to respond. [The ES folks were at the time in the canyons checking for debris slides.] I alerted ITC Mike Fink and we agreed an information page to the Team was warranted. Just after we hung up, Dixon called at 18:58 to advise of the standdown. RMRG had reached the scene (~18:45) and ascertained that there was no medical emergency – all persons in the group were warm and in good health. I redialed Mike just as the Team page went out, and asked him to send the standdown page. Fortunately these Team priority pages go to the ES folks, so Kevin was aware of the standdown when I talked with him on the 800DTR packset.
Now, the rest of the story. While on normal weekend patrol duty, one of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Volunteers [IPWV] (similar to the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers and Cameron Pass Nordic Rangers here) encountered a group camping at Devils Thumb Lake, and one of that group mentioned they were having trouble with one of their folks, a 17 year old male, who was very cold. The IPW volunteer did his own assessment that the teenager was very hypothermic, lacked motor coordination and was still conscious. This volunteer hastened down the trail for about two hours before gaining cell coverage to call 911. RMRG was on scene about three hours after receiving the call to find the group comfortably camping for the night, with the 17 year old male warm and healthy, the group planning to depart the area the next morning [as was their original plan]. After ascertaining that the group had appropriate and adequate gear for camping out, the RMRG folks began their hike out.
LCSAR members: 2
LCSAR manhours: 2
LCSAR mileage: -0-
ES: Kevin Johnston
At 14:30 the duty SAR Manager, George Janson, was paged to call Tony Simons. Dispatch had received a 911 call from 35 year old Kathryn who was unable to find her way back to the trail after summiting Greyrock with her dog. Tony had the coordinates and had spoken with Kathryn, reinforcing the need for her to stay put for the next 2-3 hours it would take to get the SAR Team to her location. She told Tony that she had wandered around for a long while, unable to find the trail and finally called for help.
Based on the coordinates 40.717853 -105.288076, she had done the usual and missed the sharp right hand turn at the base of the rock, and was down in the northeast drainage. Tony and I agreed on a non-emergency direct response to the trailhead from six members, with no need for dogs nor a Team truck, as the weather was quite warm and pleasant. Since ITC Mike was unavailable, I just put out the page for response, and to either call the counter or radio in to Dispatch. Once I was en route I asked Dispatch for the count of responders, which was five on the counter and five via radio, excluding myself; so I had Dispatch put out the "enough resources" page at 15:01.
Due to their arrival times, we sent three folks as Team 1 to go direct to the coordinates. Next we sent four folks as Team 2 to stage at the upper bench and coordinate a search pattern with Team 1 if needed. This left us with three other members, one of whom was now waiting with us at ICP. Ultimately, due to confusion on my part, one of those who called the counter was told to not respond, and we discovered Dispatch had counted Tony in the radio responders; so we actually only had eight fielding members. This was enough, except that the one who was at ICP with us never got out into the field.
While the Teams were hiking up the trail, Tony attempted to call Kathryn to give her an update on our progress, and getting the voice mail, left her a message. Unbeknownst to Tony and I, Mikey (on Team 2) was on the phone with Kathryn for much of the time they were hiking to her location! Way to go, Mikey, keeping the subject informed of Team progress. Team 2 caught up with Team 1 as they were nearing the coordinates and as a group they initiated a search pattern to bracket the coordinates. At 17:22 Team 1 had voice contact with Kathryn and arrived at her location at 17:30 with Team 2 arriving moments later. They determined that both she and her dog were capable of walking out with the combined Team, and began that trek at 17:40.
In the meantime, Tony and I were watching the build-up of gray clouds, and he requested a spot forecast from Dispatch. By the time they responded about a storm cell over the High Park wildfire area moving southeast with 1-inch-per-hour rain and hail, we had already heard the first rumbles of thunder, and noticed the yellowish glow of the clouds on the northern horizon. By now, at 19:15, the combined Team with the subject reported they were ten minutes from the lower bench, and Tony and I were now seeing lightning flashes and hearing increased and louder thunder. The rain began at 19:33, just as the Team reached the lower bench and minutes later the deluge (with pea size hail) hit, soaking all of them as they hastened back to the vehicles, arriving at 19:40. Of concern to Tony and I was the potential for debris slides onto Hwy 14, especially at mile marker 115, which would block the normal route out of the canyon. Tony and I were also soaked by the storm as we greeted Kathryn and the Team to tell them we'd postpone field debriefing to the Cache, so we could all exit the canyon as soon as possible. As it turned out, the heavy rains dissipated before crossing the prior debris slide areas, and all of us exited the canyon without incident. Standdown page sent at 20:17 after we'd all arrived at the cache.
LCSAR members: 10
LCSAR manhours: 60
LCSAR mileage: 320
ES: Tony Simons
2103 hours: Initial page from dispatch for SAR manager to contact S17 with Emergency Services re a lost hiker in Corral Creek/Mummy Pass. S17 advised there was a group of students with their professor from CSU, who entered the Mummy Pass trail from the Long Draw Road day use area to collect samples. When they returned, they realized one of the students was missing.
The missing student was a 20 yoa male, last seen about 1600 hours near a remote campsite within RMNP, near the trail intersections of Mummy Pass and Mirror Lake. Student's last name and residence was unknown at that moment. He was believed to have a backpack with water, and black jackets, wearing shorts. Upon realizing the subject was missing, the rest of the group talked to other campers in the area and blew their whistles, but got no response. They exited the area and went to Rustic to get to a phone.
Since the party was last seen in RMNP, the park had jurisdiction to run the search. However, the park typically does not search during the night. The information above was initially given to ES and passed on to LCSAR for information only, with no immediate response requested. LCSAR was advised via paging that we were on standby for the search.
2210 hours: The park thru ES requested LCSAR to stage at our own SAR cache at 0800 the next morning (July 13), with the intent that LCSAR would insert searchers from the North side, off of Hwy 14, where the group initially started their hike. The park requested 10 searcher and 2 dog teams (including a trailing dog).
2306 hours: Initial page sent to LCSAR members requesting resources, including searchers, trackers, dogs, and mountain bikers. 2316 hours, second request sent to team. 2338 hours, third request to team. After 3 pages, only TWO members had responded.....or so it was thought. As it turned out, text messages and voicemail messages to the ITC had been delayed and in limbo, and were not delivered to the phone of the ITC until about two hours later. So it later discovered that 9 team members were planning to respond.
0401 hours (July 13): LCSAR received page from dispatch that the subject had been located, and no further assistance was needed. HOWEVER, the page from dispatch was also delay or lost to some degree. Several team members showed up at the SAR cache at the originally scheduled time, because they did not receive the stand down page. Others on the team mentioned the same problem.
LCSAR: 11 (including SARM and ITC)
ES specialists: 1
Other agencies: RMNP (unknown number)
LCSAR Hours: 2
17:25 Pager: SAR TEAM - PLEASE RESPOND DIRECT TO GREY ROCK TRAIL HEAD FOR CARRY OUT ONE MILE UP THE TRAIL.
Subject (Washington DC) was hiking with his sister and son (Fort Collins). Father took a misstep heard a pop and tumbled a little. While trying to get back up realized he hurt his knee and was slightly dizzy and sat back down. Son hiked out and drove to Ted's Place to call for help.
Due to the possibility of the subject losing consciousness we were dispatched direct with lights and sirens. After Emergency Services learned the subject was only a little light headed and not unconscious our response was downgraded to direct, non-emergent. Teams entered the field as they arrived carrying the litter, wheel, medical supplies and oxygen. Two members of the TEMS team joined LCSAR in the field.
Team 1 reached the subject about 1:15 after receiving the initial page. It took about 30 min to access, treat and package the patient for a trail carry. The trail carryout of about 1.5 miles over fairly rugged terrain took about 1:20. The patient was transferred to the TEMS ambulance and transported to the ER.
21:00 All team members clear of Greyrock parking lot.
LCSAR SAR Manager: Brian Walsh
LCSAR members: 20 (including SARM and ITCs)
ES specialist: 1
Other agencies: TEMS (2)
LCSAR hours: 4 hours duration; 80 person-hours
LCSAR miles: 32 x 20 = 640 miles
We had just ended the river crossing practice and were beginning the on-scene debrief when my pager buzzed. 13:46 on call SAR Manager please call the on call ES Specialist. I had both pager and cell phone with me in a small dry bag, so I talked to Justin while we all walked back to the vehicles. 74 year old male, possibly despondent, missing from his residence in a neighborhood which abuts Devil's Backbone Open Space. Last seen about 20:00 Friday night, but reported today. County did a reverse 911 to alert the neighbors and also notified the Open Space Rangers. Justin was en route to meet with the Deputy at the subject's residence. Seven of the participants at the practice were available and went direct to the staging area, at Hwy 34 and Glade Road. A total of 18 members and two dogs mobilized at the staging area while I went to meet with Justin. Just as I was approaching the residence, Justin told me over the radio that the subject may have been located and to follow them as they went to the scene. One of the residents went searching on his ATV in the sizeable ravine that abuts this residential area, and happened to locate the subject, who was alive. A County Parks Ranger was nearby and responded to the scene and guided the Ambulance to the access point. The subject was transported to the ambulance in the Ranger's vehicle. Since there was no need for any of us to go to the actual scene in the ravine, Justin, the responding Deputy, a Parks Ranger and myself departed the area. I returned to the staging area to recount what I knew to the assembled members. It was now about 16:00 and we all departed for home.
LCSAR SAR Manager: George Janson
LCSAR members: 19 (including SARM and ITCs)
ES specialist: 1
Other agencies: LCSO Deputy (1), County Parks (3), TVAS (2)
LCSAR hours: 2 hours duration; 38 person-hours
LCSAR miles: 50 x 18 = 900 miles
Several Yosemite SAR folk were recently introduced to the LCSAR/ACME Horn during a mission that was shortened because of the horn....
LE was called to initiate a search for a missing 14 yo who was deaf in one ear and "blind" if he lost his glasses. Dressed in shorts and T-shirt he was hiking with his dad at around the White Wolf campground. His dad and he became separated at 1700 hrs and had been missing ~25 minutes when we were called. We arrived ~10 minutes later.
We quickly initiated a hasty search with intentions to call in additional resources in 30 minutes if our hasty search failed. I pulled out the trusty LCSAR horn and started a sound sweep while hiking a dirt road. The lost boy heard the horn and realized people were now looking for him so he started calling for help - a nearby family hiking heard his calls, walked back to him, and then hiked him out.
The response from YOSAR people was "Holy Smoke what is that.... THAT IS AWESOME!"
The learning experience - when interviewing the boy afterwards... he was ~3/4 mile from me... he could clearly hear the horn but was unable to determine direction because he is deaf in 1 ear....
Something we all should remember when searching for lost individuals that have hearing issues....
-- Lee Lang
0322 hours: Dispatch paged SAR manager to contact ES. O3 requested LCSAR respond direct non-emergent to the Dam Store on Hwy 34 for staging, for a female who was climbing and stranded on the rocks. ES was requesting the technical rope personnel for high angle pickoff, approximately 60-70 above the ground. This was to be a support role for Loveland Rescue, which had two engines on scene or enroute (consisting of about 8 personnel). ES request LCSAR respond with the team truck and about 8-10 SAR members.
0354 hours: LCSAR team was paged by ITC for the direct response. Responding members were to contact the ITC. While members were enroute, ES and Loveland Rescue released LCSAR members, and the team was stood down at 0437 hours. Subject had been lowered to the ground by Loveland Rescue. Information from the scene indicates the subject was climbing with other teenagers, without ropes, and without headlamps.
LCSAR members: 13 (including SARM and ITC)
ES specialist:: 1
Other agencies: Loveland Rescue (approx 8)
LCSAR hours: 20 hours
LCSAR miles: 150 miles
1551 hours. Dispatch paged the SAR manager to contact ES. O3 advised that RMNP was requesting about 8 LCSAR members to respond to the park to assist with a carry out from the Lumpy Ridge area. Subject was reportedly about 2 miles from the trailhead. Previous attempts to short haul the subject by helicopter were not successful. Subject reportedly had a broken leg. Subject was already packaged, and LCSAR members were needed for the carry out.
1604 hours. Page sent to LCSAR for members to call in and respond, with staging at Loveland Safeway. 6 members were responding from Loveland/Fort Collins, and 2 members were responding from Estes directly to the RMNP SAR cache. Before leaving staging, the team was stood down. Information from the members at the RMNP SAR cache indicate that the park was able to utilize a larger helicopter from the Grand Canyon, which was in the area to fight forest fires, and make a successful short haul of the patient.
LCSAR members: 9
Other agencies: RMNP (unknown numbers)
LCSAR hours: 9
LCSAR miles: 80
16:35 Team received page requesting searchers for a "lost hiker on… wait for it…. Grey Rock!" Actually, that's how the page came out… even dispatch is realizing how many times we've been up that rock for searches lately! 17 year old male went for a hike and made it to the summit of Grey Rock. On the way down, he lost the trail which is easy to do up there. He made a couple calls to family trying to figure out where he might be as they look on maps back home. The good news was that the subject called as soon as he realized he was in trouble and calls home weren't going to get him out. The best part is that he had one of the few cell services that can plot his exact location when in limited coverage areas. Verizon and Sprint are better at plotting the location than.. 'others'. He had Sprint and the location plotted was very typical of where people end up if they get lost coming down from the top of Grey Rock. With this information, it's an easy search and we simply send teams to the location and walk the subject out. We were glad he had good battery life because like other lost subjects, there were several calls made to friends and family before calling 911.
Readers, if you get anything out of this report, If you are ever in trouble and need help, please call 911 first so we can get the critical information before your phone dies. Dispatch can even make calls to friends or family to save your battery life. When coverage is limited, calling 911 will get out when other calls won't. That's how the system is designed.
Back to the search. Arrival at the trail head at 17:20. Team 1 (Costain, Littlewood and Brauch) fielded at 17:30, team 2 (Evans, Gonia and Ziesler) fielded 17:53 and Team 3 (Grotenhuis, McCarty) fielded around 18:00. The plan was for team 1 to head directly to the coordinates from the valley east of Grey Rock where they typically end up. Team 2 was to go up the trail toward the summit with ropes in case the subject is cliffed out and we need to access him from above. Team 3 was going to divert one way or the other depending on what the first two teams find. Team 4 (Negron and S. Erickson) were on standby at the trail head in case they needed other equipment or if the subject wasn't where we plotted him and other areas needed searching.
We gathered more information from the subject's Mother who was on scene by then. She was very concerned and had a bad feeling when he left in the morning that something like this was going to happen. The subject was out of water, no food and not prepared for bad weather or an overnight. 18:40, team 1 arrived at upper junction and moves towards the valley. 19:04 team 2 arrives at upper junction and heading up the summit trail.
19:11 and excited voice over the radio from team 1 reports "we have voice contact with the subject!" as they move quickly toward the yells for help. Team 2 and team 3 meet up with the group and make sure our subject has plenty of water, food and clothing for the trip down the hill. A slow but study pace is set and all teams and the subject were back to the trail head by 20:47.
11 LCSAR members
1 Emergency Service Specialist
250 miles traveled
1515 hours. Page from dispatch for SAR manager to contact S17, regarding a missing 7 year old near Timberline and Prospect. S17 advised of the report of a missing 7 year old female, and provided subject's first name, and physical description. S17 was requesting a direct non-emergent response to the staging area.
SAR manager contacted the in town coordinator and arranged for a page to the team. Team members were to call the ITC if they were able to respond.
1543 hours. The team received a page that the subject had been located, and was ok. All team members were stood down, prior to entering the field.
LCSAR members responding: 18 (including SAR manager and ITC)
ES specialists: 2
Other agencies: unknown
Hours: 2 hours
1318 Team-wide page to respond direct and emergent to 1942 Jacob Road, Estes Park, for a rock rescue/carryout for a 13-year-old male who had fallen w/head injury.
1324 Rocky Mountain Nat'L Park releases the 6 LCSAR members who were in the Park to help with a carryout there, so they can respond to Jacob Road.
From the road the wooded slope rose steeply to the base of an almost-vertical rock face. There was a ledge-y area at the top of the face, and then more rock above that, on which the patient had been scrambling with friends. He had fallen and slid approx. 10 feet, and had an injury to his jaw/mouth area, one wrist, and possibly one leg. He was 14 years old, and had arrived just that morning from Louisiana, for a week's vacation with family friends.
Estes Park Fire Dept. was already on scene with the patient when the first LCSAR folks arrived. There was also one Larimer County Sheriff's Deputy on scene. The patient had been secured by EPFD. It was decided that a technical descent was necessary, and EPFD turned the rescue over to LCSAR. Verbit took the Rescue Supervisor position.
RMNP sent 7 rangers to assist with the evac, and they set up the scree evac at the base of the rock face.
With limited 800 radios, LCSAR used VHF channel VFire 21 with which to talk to the Fire Chief, and he used their 800 channels with which to talk to his personnel.
LCSAR's truck arrived and staged down the road, because there was very little room left near the scene, and no LCSAR team gear was needed by then. All gear used was from EPFD, Emergency Services specialist Whitesell, RMNP, and personal gear. There were 4 LCSAR members at staging, available if needed to bring more gear up the hill.
To accommodate anchors and avoid potential rockfall, the patient was going to need to be moved approx. 50 feet to a different ledge. Anchors were established farther up the rock (McCarty and Eller). Main and Belay were set up on those anchors, and an extra belay was added at the foot of the litter for the transfer of the patient across the rock to where he would be lowered down the face. The system was safetied (Alvord), the patient was loaded into the litter, and the team began moving him at 1600.
The patient and one attendant (Westfall) were then lowered down the face of the rock to the scree team. The litter was taken off the vertical rope system. The wheel was put under the litter and the Park staff then used a belay and 6 people to walk it down the slope to the road and the waiting ambulance. The patient was at the ambulance by 1625.
LCSAR members then proceeded to break down the systems and anchors, then rappelled down the rock face. All team members were at the road by 1723. After gear-sorting and a debrief, all LCSAR personnel were clear of the scene by 1750.
Another great job on a technical rescue involving multiple agencies! Thank you.
LCSAR members: 15 (including In-town coordinator and SAR manager)
LCSAR vehicles: 1
Personal vehicles: 8
Miles driven: 8 x 92 miles = 736 personal, 92 team truck (828 total)
Drive time: 1 hour each way per person (28 total)
Hours on-scene: 4.5
Agencies involved: 5 (RMNP, EPFD, Larimer County Sheriff, Larimer County Emergency Services, LCSAR)
Submitted by Sarah Babbitt, SAR Manager
11:14 SAR Manager page to call ES specialist O2 reference a carry out assist to RMNP.
11:32 Team wide page goes out for 6 members needed to assist RMNP on the carry out.
There is an injured hiker near Lock Vail that has a "gash" wound and respiratory issues. RMNP is sending a hasty team to assess the situation. LCSAR is to stage at their cash at 13:00 to assist with the carry out.
13:07 Page from dispatch for SAR manager to call RMNP. The discussion is about the current condition of the subject.
As our team is arriving at the Park's cache, radio traffic alerts them that the subject will be attempting to walk out with the rangers on scene. 13:18 Page from dispatch-SAR team respond to Jabob road in Estes Park for a youth that has fallen and has head injuries. Note: Jacob road is a separate mission.
13:19 SAR manager calls RMNP dispatch and confirms that LCSAR resources are not needed for the Loch Vail carry out.
13:22 Team wide page goes out- "ROMO has released LCSAR crew for response to Jacob road incident." SAR resources are in route to Jacob Rd incident.
ES Specialists: 1
LCSAR members: 6
LCSAR ITC: 1
LCSAR manager: 1
Miles driven: ~750
14:52 – Page requesting the SAR team and ES to respond direct to the Grey Rock trail head for a report of a 54 year old subject with heart problems and possible seizures. Subject is reported to be ¾ mile up the trail.
Just before the stand down page comes out radio traffic announces that the subject is 100 yards from the trail head and is being helped out. 15:12 – STAND DOWN per O2.
ES Specialists: 2
LCSAR Members: 10
LCSAR mile driven: ~200
Hours: ~3.5 total
Page out at 13:08: requesting direct non emergent response to Horsetooh Falls to assist Poudre Fire Authority in carryout of 19 yoa hiker that fell and had possible knee injury. Upon arrival at the scene the hiker was working her way out escorted by PFA and hiking partner. Hiker had a scrape on her knee but was otherwise uninjured. SAR team remained in stand-by at the trailhead. No SAR resources were fielded. Stand down page at 13:41
LCSAR Members (including SAR manager):8
ES Specialists (one IC and one with LCSAR truck):2
Poudre Fire Authority:3
Larimer County Park Rangers:5
Prepared by Jose Negron (SMIT)
1st page, 1533: SAR pls respond direct – non-emergent to approx. MM63 Hwy 14 – 3rd hand rpt of skier w lower leg compound fracture on the Ptarmigan trail; unkn how far up the trail at this point. Staging in the parking lot on top. Anderson was L1, but as I was already right at the cache for the BASART training, it seemed more logical for me to take L1 for this incident. I left in Larimer Truck 10, Lang driving, by 1548. Several other team members also left the training and headed toward Cameron Pass. At that time we were not sure exactly where the Ptarmigan Trail was. S17 (Sgt. Johnston of Emergency Services) was already on his way to the scene.
Dispatch was trying to find out whether Jackson County SAR could muster any members, since they are much closer to Cameron Pass than we are. Shortly after entering the Poudre Canyon we were asked to upgrade our response to Code 3 (lights and siren) because so far it didn't seem that there would be many from Jackson County able to respond. Dispatch said we had 9 responding so far, so another page was sent out. For a carryout of any sort, especially in winter over an unknown distance, more strong hands are better.
I tasked two LCSAR members with stopping at the Zimmerman Lake cache (just a couple of miles east of Cameron Pass) to retrieve the patient snow sled which is stored there (it is better than the one we carry in the truck). Upon arrival at the Cameron Pass parking lot at 1703, we found that the Ptarmigan Trail is one of the main trails used by skiers/riders to access the North and South Diamonds. It is the one which goes straight up what at times has been an avalanche chute (we never knew it had a name).
Friends of the skier had come down to the road and flagged-down cars to try to get someone to call 911, and had asked at least one other skier to go back up to the patient with them, to help. The other friends with the patient had built a fire and splinted his leg, and were preparing to spend the night if necessary. Now 2 EMTs and 1 First Responder were already with the 26-year-old male patient. He had a compound Tib/fib fracture just above his right ski boot.
The responders already there were from Jackson County SAR and the CO Division of Parks and Wildlife. They had taken a sled up with them, though no one could tell me what kind of sled it was, so I kept our sled coming. I later saw a photo taken by one of the patient's friends and it showed a Sked (a type of rescue sled, but not great for snow) so I was glad we'd taken our sled up. The trail up had been marked with glow sticks and flagging (though it's a heavily-used route so following it would have been easy, anyway). Larimer Sheriff's deputy Westerfield (F28) was also on-scene as support and cautioning traffic on hwy. 14.
LCSAR members were asked to go light and fast, and all responders headed up were to wear avalanche beacons. LCASR Team 1 (5 people, including 2 EMTs and 22 Wilderness First Responders) was sent up with our "Wiggy bag" (an insulated patient bag with a variety of places where it can be opened for easy patient access). The patient was just above the bench---the flat area just below the main Diamond Peak slopes, approx. 5/8-mile and 1000 vertical feet above the parking lot. By this time the initial responders had packaged the patient and moved him approximately 200-300 yards, and were waiting for the LCSAR teams to join them.
It was decided that our TEMS (Tactical EMS) paramedic would go up to the patient with one of our teams, because none of the medical staff currently with the patient could deliver narcotics and the patient was in great pain. Another Jackson County SAR/Sheriff's dept. member arrived, and was also folded into one of our teams headed up the hill.
When Janson (L24) arrived on scene he told me the air ambulance (Med Evac 2 from Northern CO Medical Center in Greeley) was on its way and that he would stage at the Zimmerman Lake trailhead to be liaison and help land it.
Team 1 arrived at the patient after only 40 minutes and they began to assist the other responders. Two other teams (8 people) were also on the way up the hill by then, with more hot packs for the patient. By 1810 the helicopter had landed at the Zimmerman trailhead. The rescuers began to move the patient in the Sked, but it was quickly decided that he would be better off in our snow sled. The vacuum splint was also requested, and our last 3 members headed up the hill with it and also carrying our full-body hot blankets. By 1850 the patient had been transferred to the snow sled, given pain meds, and was being moved down the trail. The patient and all teams were back at the parking lot at 1918. He was moved into the ambulance from Jackson County, where there was further assessment and IVs were started, then he was transported to the helicopter. The helo was in the air headed to Medical Center of the Rockies (in Loveland) at 1955.
UTM when our teams met the injured subject (after he'd been moved 200-300 yards) was 0424342 4485697------putting him just inside Larimer County. His injury occured within the county, too. Thanks to Jacob McDaniel for getting the UTM.
When everyone was back at the parking lot, I discovered there had been 4 initial responders with the patient (1 from Jackson Cnty SAR and 3 CO Parks/Wildlife) rather than 3-----another indication that sometimes initial info is unclear or incomplete in these kinds of circumstances! All rescuers were accounted for, gear put away, a debrief held and all were clear of the parking lot by 2005. Truck 10 was back at the cache by 2140.
Another mission involving multiple agencies, and it went very well. Many thanks go to all the people who responded. We fielded a very strong LCSAR group: Verbit, Lang, Frager, Olsen, Gonia, M. Erickson, Geisey, McDaniel, Weaver, Borowski, Evans, Yoh, Heiser, and Foster went into the field. Janson, Grimm and Hake were at the Zimmerman trailhead. Mines was In-Town Coordinator. It was 138 miles round-trip from the SAR cache to Cameron Pass and back.
Agencies involved: 8 (LCSAR, Larimer Cnty Sheriff's office, Jackson Cnty SAR, Jackson Cnty Sheriff's office, CO Park and Wildlife, PVH TEMS, Jackson Cnty ambulance, NCMC MedEvac 2)
LCSAR members: 19
Vehicles: 1 SAR truck, 11 personal
Miles driven by LCSAR: 1656
Person-hours from callout to all back in town: 6 hours x 19 = 114
Weather conditions at time of callout: 32 degrees, cloudy, wind zero to light. Temperature did drop some, and winds increased but not very high, throughout time of rescue.
Sarah Babbitt, SAR manager
0650 SAR Manager page to pls. call Sgt. Johnston ref. looking for an accident victim. Janson was L-1 and obtained the basic information from Johnston, but would be unavailable later in the day so I took L-1 and Janson passed me the info we had.
A 34-y.o. male from Greeley had been reported missing on Sunday, April 7th. His credit card had been used in Glen Echo (in Poudre Canyon) and Walden that day, but nothing else had been heard from him. Family and friends had been looking for him and his truck had been found on Thursday, April 11th, in the river channel approx. 100 meters below Poudre Falls, just east of mile marker 75 on Highway 14. The river surface is about 45 feet below the level of the road at that point. The friends had climbed down to the vehicle, finding it empty, but they thought they saw tracks leading away from the vehicle. Deputy Fawcett and a CO State Patrol officer had done an initial check of the scene and brief search for the subject at that time. It was decided that SAR would be deployed in the AM. Due to the accident location in unincorporated Larimer County, along a CO highway, the State Patrol would be Incident Commander.
10 – 12 trackers, dog teams and searchers were requested to respond direct, non-emergent, to the Poudre Falls search. A scent article was being picked up in Greeley and would be relayed to the mission as soon as possible. By 10 AM 9 SAR members and Sgt. Johnston were on scene. CDOT was doing traffic control along the highway where we were working. Weather conditions were partly cloudy, breezy, with highs in the mid-40s.
A hand line was rigged from the front of the SAR truck down to the river, to facilitate easier movement up and down the steep dirt and gravel bank. Two trackers were sent down to the vehicle with the two family friends who had been down there previously, so the friends could show the trackers where they had walked and where they thought they'd seen other tracks. A search team was tasked to start at the bridge which is approx. ¼ mile east of the vehicle, to walk the riverbank as best possible (cliffs made it impossible to walk the entire bank). A dog team was also sent down river to see what the dog might be able to detect.
At 1022 the team at the subject's vehicle confirmed that there was one body in the water next to the vehicle. The other teams were recalled from the field.
While awaiting the county coroner, a haul system was set up off of the SAR truck and Sgt. Johnston's truck, in preparation for bringing the victim up to the road in the litter.
1220 The coroner arrived on scene. Sgt. Johnston and LCSAR member Alvord donned appropriate ice/cold swift water gear so they could go into the shallow water to move the subject's body after the coroner had had a chance to see its location and status. When it was ready, a 3-person litter team brought the victim up the bank.
It was then decided that two LCSAR members would be lowered down the cliff face just downriver of the vehicle, to aid in removing some of the large debris from the river channel. Another lower/haul system was set up for each of these two people, off of the Dive Team truck and the tow truck. A cable from the tow truck was lowered with them, onto which they secured a single wheel and a wheel/axle and they were raised to the road.
Members of the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team then attached the tow cable to the victim's truck, and removed more debris from the vicinity of the truck, then the truck was hauled up the bank. A group of LCSAR members were kept on scene until all work was finished in the area of the river.
All LCSAR members were clear of the scene at 1530.
This was both a sad mission and a complex one, involving some highly technical work and 8 different agencies. Many thanks to all the responders involved. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the victim.
-Agencies involved: 8 (CO State Patrol, Larimer County Emergency Services, CDOT, LCSAR, Larimer County Dive Rescue, LC Sheriff's dept., Choice towing, County Coroner)
-LCSAR members: 13 (including In-town coordinator and member who retrieved the scent article)
-LCSAR vehicles: 7 personal, 1 Team
-LCSAR miles driven: 944
-Submitted by Sarah Babbitt, SAR Manager
1826 hours: Page from dispatch for SAR manager to contact O-3 re lost hiker at Hewlett Gulch. O-3 advises that a family of 4 started from the trailhead, and got lost. Subjects contacted the sheriff's dispatch via cell phone. Subjects advised they were lost but could see a building. SO had coordinates of the subject's location based on the phone call. Coordinates were 105.32766, 40.719774. O-3 was requesting hasty teams to respond, to locate the subjects and escort them out. Initial plan was to have one team approach from the north (off of CR 74E), and two teams start from the trailhead.
1840 hours: page to the SAR team for members to contact ITC for response to Hewlett Gulch. Only requested 6 team members, due to circumstances.
1841 hours: O-3 advises the subjects are moving (against his request) and trying to get to the houses.
1910 hours: subjects were able to get to an occupied house, and advise the SO of the address (off of CR 74E). O-3 arranged for support member to bring vehicle from cache to transport subjects back to trailhead. SAR team stood down.
ES specialists: 1
SAR members: 9 (including ITC & SAR manager)
ES support: 1
Hours: 9 hours
Miles driven: 300 miles
At 15:45 I received a page requesting assistance for a carry out of a hypothermic subject in Rocky Mountain National Park. Even though it feels like spring down here in the Front Range, it's still winter in RMNP. Full winter gear required! That means snowshoes, beacons, shovels, probes, helmets, and full winter clothing. We may be out for 24hrs. As soon as we roll into the general Estes Park area we can see a dark ominous bank of clouds hovering over the park. I've seen it before. It's a visible sign that it's probably snowing and windy up there. Not very pleasant conditions to be in, even if you are prepared. Upon arrival at their headquarters, and check in, we are quickly heading to the trailhead.
Our role in the mission is to bring extra food, water, oxygen, and other supplies to the team already out in the field. They've been out there for hours. Then we will assist in the carry out. It seems odd that at the trailhead there is very little snow on the ground. But we know better, because in the almost five miles we have to hike we know there will be snow. Knowing this, we do a quick avalanche beacon check before we leave. Everyone is ready. The first few miles are uneventful. We take this time to get to know the two park representatives assigned to our team and talk about what we're in for. At about mile two we cross a creek and conditions change instantly. The trial is now covered with hard packed snow and ice. This is a good time to put our traction devices on. Most of us use Ice Treker's or Micro Spikes. It really improves traction on slippery surfaces. Last thing we want is another mission to carry one of us out. As we continue for another mile and one half, the snow starts piling up and getting much deeper. We decide to stop, take a quick break, and get our snow shoes on. Within minutes, we see headlights coming our way from above. It's the evacuation team with the subject. They were very happy to see us. It didn't take long before we had given away every sandwich and extra water bottle we were carrying. They were hungry and tired. After refueling and checking on the patient it's now time to start hauling.
We are using a toboggan like unit to "carry" out the subject. We don't actually carry them out when there is snow on the ground. It's hooked up much like a dog sled. We had five rescuers pulling on a rope tied to the front. And there were three on a rope in the back acting as a brake because most of the trip was downhill. The first mile or so wasn't too bad. The problem now is occasionally we are experiencing dirt and rocks where the wind has blown all the snow off the trail. It's tough dragging a sled with fins on the bottom across dirt. It's decided we will put the wheel on. The wheel is about half the size of an ATV tire and mounts to the bottom of the litter/toboggan. It allows us to roll down the trail. Now we have to have 3 people on each side of the litter to control it. When there are obstacles in the trail we literally lift it up over them. It also allows us to "steer" it around other obstacles. It may sound easy but it's not. Sometimes the trail is so narrow between the trees we have to stop and hand over hand move it through the trees. Sometimes the trail is so steep side to side that those on the downhill side are holding the litter above their head and the one's uphill are bending way down to hold it near our ankles. All the time while still moving. This continues on for hours. Periodically we switch teams of litter handlers. Everyone is getting very tired but we all continue on without complaints. Finally, we are back at the creek where the snow is almost completely gone. Everyone is excited and disappointed at the same time. We're out of the snow but we all know there is almost another mile and one half left.
We continue handing off back and forth between litter teams however the change outs seems to be more frequent due to exhaustion. Conversations on the side also seem to be diminishing. A big relief comes to all when we first catch a glimpse of the waiting ambulance. We've still got several switch backs left. As has been happening throughout the night, someone mentions to be careful because we're not there yet. I don't know exactly what time it is now but I think it's well after midnight and we are back at the trail head. Everyone is safe and there are no injuries to report.
We all do this because we want to help out others. Well two of our team members who couldn't be there for the carry out were waiting to help us out at the trail head with hot chocolate. That has to be the best cup of chocolate I have ever had! - Russell G.
19:41: Page for SAR manager to contact on call ES specialist reference a search on Grey Rock. Report is a single hiker has become separated from their hiking group while descending off the summit of Grey Rock. The lost individual is able to call 911 once before their battery dies. Larimer County Search and Rescue resources are requested to help find the individual.
We deployed 6 field teams to initiate the search. Both main trails were covered on the way to the approximate location, as well as a third less known trail. Once teams were at the base of Grey Rock they dispersed and continued search operations. Meanwhile, the lost party's three friends were escorted back to the trailhead.
The missing subject had summited Grey Rock earlier and became separated from his hiking partners. Only one call was made to 911 from his cell phone before the battery died. That call was "pinged" off a tower north of Ft. Collins. Since we were unable to triangulate the signal off of multiple towers a more accurate location was unavailable. However we knew that he had been hiking at Grey Rock and therefore his general location. If you look at "Greyrock_search_find_locations.jpeg" below you can see where most subject are found. That was to be the main focus area for the search. Containment was also something we were looking at so one team was sent in from Seaman reservoir to hike the old Wintersteen trail and another team was sent up the Meadows trail for additional containment (just in case). Most teams entered the search area via the main trail. A backup plan to bring someone in from the north(Red Feather side) was also considered if he was not located in the general location we were searching.
At approximately 00:27 a team made contact with the subject. The individual was cold and tired, but in general, OK. After a short time to hydrate and consume some food they proceeded back to the trailhead.
The subject and escorting team returned to the parking lot at 02:53 and were released after a final medical evaluation and debriefing.
All personnel were out of the field by 03:13
1 – SAR Manager
1 – SARM Trainee
1 - ITC
12 – Fielding members
2 – PVH medical personnel
1 – ES specialist
Miles driven ~ 700
Hours ~ 91
At 23:02 the Duty SAR Manager [George] was paged to call Kevin J. regarding a search assist to FCPD for a missing 55 year old female with dementia. Her family had returned home at about 21:00 to discover that she and one of the dogs were gone; presumably she was out walking that dog, a ~50 lb. black and white Border Collie. We were to stage with the FCPD at the convenience store on the SW corner of Lemay and Conifer, which is a few blocks south of the residence. FCPD, PFA and LCSO were searching from the roads visually and with PFA's portable IR cameras, and they wanted LCSAR to begin searching off-road in the numerous open fields in that section of town. They were communicating on the 800DTR 'Mutual Aid 2' channel (bank 1, channel 14 on Team radios), though our field teams would use our typical SAR-2 on VHF. ITC Mike F. then paged the Team, and 12 members with 3 dogs called in – a very good response, considering the size of what our search area could have been. While I was en-route to the staging area, I heard traffic on the 800DTR that a Weld County deputy might have found our missing person. By the time I arrived at staging the FCPD Sargent in charge of the incident had confirmed that the person in Weld County was indeed the missing subject, and both Dispatch and Mike F. put out stand-down pages at 23:35. She and the dog were found at Weld County Roads 88 and 15, roughly 7 miles to the north and east. Unknown if she had any health concerns as the ambulance had not arrived at her location before Kevin and I left staging.
LCSAR Members: 14
LCSAR Hours: 7
LCSAR Miles: 10
ES specialist: 1
Other agencies: FCPD, PFA
0331 hours: Dispatch pages SAR manager on call to contact ES specialist.
0336 hours: Telephone conference between ES specialist and SAR manager. ES advises of a report of 2 subjects missing on Storm Mountain. Parties had been up on the mountain for undetermined reason, and returning home when their car went off the road about 2317 hours earlier that night. One subject had climbed the hill to get cell coverage and contact the mother (the reporting party). Two other sons of the RP drove up to Storm Mtn to look for the subjects and their car, but did not find them. Parties were driving a low clearance all wheel drive vehicle. There were no know medical condition of the parties, and they indicated they had blankets in the car. ES wanted LCSAR to be on standby, while ES tried to locate the vehicle. SAR manager went back to bed, and the ES specialist went for a drive.
0727 hours: ES specialist called the SAR manager to advise that he had located the subjects and their car. They were cold but ok. No response by LCSAR was needed.
LCSAR Members: 1
ES specialist: 1
Other agencies: none
21:58 we received a page to assist Larimer County Deputy and Emergency Services on a search for overdue elderly gentleman with his pregnant daughter who were heading up Cherokee Park Road (CR-80C) to look at some property. A LC Mountain Deputy found the vehicle stuck along side the road and was following what he felt were their tracks heading east from the vehicle. They then turned north onto a road and he could see some possible ranch lights. We were going to be a back up plan for if those tracks didn't pan out or continued on. We were organizing some hasty 4WD teams to cover roads and some trackers to confirm direction of travel from the vehicle. We were also going to organize a stand-by group for later if the search warranted it. At 22:21 we received a stand down page as subject were found at a ranch by the deputy and they were able to gain access and warm up. Everyone was okay. Thanks everyone for your response. Great job by the Mountain Deputy for picking up the tracks and following them! Had the subjects not found shelter, this would have helped tremendously in the search.
1 Mountain Deputy, Hildreth
1 Emergency Services Specialist, Mosier
1 SAR Manager, Hake
1 ITC, Jordan
6-8 SAR members with 4WD and more calling in to assist if needed
Two LCSAR/RMT Trackers, Dave Hake and Doug Grimm went to Grand County to assist them with a search for an 85 year old male.
His car was located 18 miles north of Granby at a pull off on hwy 125 up near West View Peak between Granby and Walden. It was later determined the car had been there and tagged by CSP on January 31st. He's an avid cross-country-skier, living in the area and for 40 years and was known for skiing alone. There had been at least 8 days with 5" to 8" of snow and wind during that time period. They could see some tracks heading west of the parking area and assumed they were from the subject but because of weather history, they wanted to get some trackers to confirm that and who could follow them in areas where they are covered.
The search was going to start at 08:00 on the morning of the 8th and they wanted the trackers to start early before the rest of the teams head in.
We followed the tracks for about a mile and a second team caught up with us and both teams worked together in moving the line of tracks. The tracks were visible enough to follow without too much difficulty but at times were confusing because they switched from skis to boots then back to skis. It was eye opening to many that they could be followed even after the weather history.
At 10:40 and about a mile and a halve in, the second team located the subject at the end of the tracks. He was completely covered in snow except for ski tips sticking out. He was deceased and and investigation was conducted by their investigator. We departed the area before the evacuation because they had enough resources and so we could head back to Ft. Collins.
14:11 Page for SAR manager to call RMNP reference a dog hasty search. RMNP advises they need two dog teams to do a hasty search for a lost subject. Two dog handlers, two support personnel, and two dogs are dispatched. All resources are out of the field by 21:01
Dog Team 1 was fielded within 10 minutes of being assembled at the SAR Cache. They got to Bear Lake shortly after 1600hrs. The team was made up of 2 members of LCSAR and one RMNP staff. Their assignment was to hasty from Bear Lake TH to Nymph Lake checking for any signs from the dog. The dog had numerous attraction to the south of the trail indicating in the direction of Glacier Gorge. The winds were swirling though. When the winds came from the north, the dog did indicate attraction to the north. The dog handler felt that the manner in which the dog indicated, it could be 50-50 whether the subject was to the north or south of the trail. Eventually, the dog team made it to Nymph Lake where the dog had no further indications for the subject. At this point, due to lack of indications and the time restrictions, Dog Team1 headed back to the Bear Lake TH. Along the way, the dog again indicated both north and south of the trail. Again, the handler felt it could be 50-50 which way the subject was. We made it back to the Bear Lake parking lot and headed back to the RMNP SAR Cache where we debriefed and were cleared from the scene. by John Lee
Friday, 2 P.M.:
The pager goes off while I'm in the dead silence of my office, studying. Rarely does the pager go off in a loud place. It's amazing how quickly the beeping of a pager racks up your adrenaline. I have heard the pager 50 plus times before, at all times of the day and it still get my blood pumping.
I take a look and it's a page calling for hasty dog teams and support to respond direct for a search for a missing man at Rocky Mountain National Park. Twenty minutes later and following clearance from LCSAR management, I am in my car driving to the Search and Rescue Cache at RMNP, responding as support personnel for the dog teams.
As I respond, I run through the mental gear list. In addition to our 24 hour search pack and rescue gear that we always have on hand, winter adds a whole new set of gear: Crampons? Check. Snowshoes? Check. Extra layers? Check. Ice axe? Check. You never know… a search can quickly turn into a 12-hour rescue. You just never know. With in an hour, I arrive at RMNP and meet up my fellow teammates. We get a quick briefing, establish radio communications with the SAR operations in RMNP, cross-check each other's essential gear and take a look at the maps. We then get a ride with a RMNP ranger and receive more briefing en route to the subject's Last Known Point. As they say, weather in Colorado changes every ten minutes. That saying couldn't have been more accurate for this afternoon mission.
At base in Estes Park, it was chilly with slight winds and some meager flakes falling. At the LKP, its snowing and gusting intermittently up to 20 MPH with temperatures below freezing. Definitely not conditions you want to stuck in outside. After 30 minutes of driving in snow, we reach the LKP and field. By the time we field, its quickly getting dark. We search for about a mile until we are called back to base… conditions deteriorated to a point where operations determined it was unsafe for us to operate in the field any further. We snowshoe back to the car by headlamp, navigating by map and terrain as our trail in has been drifted in by snow. We left for base, having not found our subject. But, in SAR, negative information is still good information.
We arrive at base, unload, debrief and head for home. As we left, search operations was designing a plan for the next day's operations based upon a few of our initial findings as well as other from other ground teams. I arrive home to loved ones and friends chocked full of questions about weather, the subject, the situation, etc. Tough questions that sometimes can't be answered right away. One roommate posed a valid question: Why? Why drive 100+ miles to RMNP to search for a mile and come home? It's a simple answer. We extensively train, search, and perform rescues so that others may live.
-by Ethan C.
17:54 Page for SAR manager to call RMNP reference searchers requested for Saturday operations. Request is for 10-12 searchers plus two dog teams. LCSAR personal are staged at 06:30 and briefed at 07:00. By 18:36 all resources are out of the field
2 FEB 2013:
14:14 A direct request was made from RMNP for one dog team and 6 searchers to help continue searching on Sunday.
3 FEB 2012: LCSAR members staged at the RMNP SAR cache at 06:30. Briefed at 07:00 . All members were out of the field by 18:00
LCSAR Resource list for assist to RMNP for Green search:
- 4 LCSAR members, two dogs
- 1 ITC
- ES Specialist
- Miles driven ~ 270
- Hours ~ 8
- Personnel: 10 LCSAR members, 2 dogs, 1 Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol member
- ES Specialist
- Miles driven ~ 825
- Hours ~ 110
- 5 LCSAR members, one dog
- ES Specialist
- Miles driven ~ 280
- Hours ~ 50
Rocky Mountain National Park News Release
February 5, 2013
For Immediate Release
Kyle Patterson 970-586-1363
Body Found Near Bear Lake Believed To Be That Of Troy Green
This afternoon, Tuesday, February 5, 2013, Rocky Mountain National Park officials were notified by two persons who were snowshoeing north and west of Bear Lake of a body located in a thick timbered area, approximately 100 feet off a summer hiking trail. Larimer County Coroner's office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy. However, it is believed that the body is that of Troy Green, 39, from San Antonio, Texas.
The location where the body was found, near the Flattop Mountain trail, was inside the search area but approximately one mile north of the Tyndall Gorge and Nymph Lake region where search managers believed that Green may have hiked. He was found in an area that had been searched several times by ground personnel, a dog team, and helicopter over-flights. Green's body was against a tree and he was wearing dark-colored clothing.
The recovery team reached the Bear Lake Trailhead at 6:30 p.m. with Green's body. Because the investigation is ongoing, the Flattop Trail from the north side of Bear Lake is temporarily closed.
Mr. Green was planning to attend a conference in Denver. When his wife did not hear from him on Thursday, January 31, she contacted the Denver Police Department. He did not arrive at the conference on Friday. On Friday afternoon, February 1, an advisory was given for his rental car that matched a vehicle found early Friday morning by park rangers at the Bear Lake parking lot.
Search efforts began Friday afternoon. Over the weekend teams searched throughout the Bear Lake system of trails; focusing on off- trail areas particularly in the Mill Creek Drainage, in the Flattop Mountain area, and between Bear Lake and Dream Lake. Park rangers were assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, and Summit County Rescue. Aerial search efforts also took place over this entire area. Searchers faced winter conditions with deep and drifting snow and high winds. Hundreds of visitors were in the Bear Lake area over the weekend also serving as eyes and ears.
Public Information Officer/Management Specialist
Rocky Mountain National Park
Release Date: Feb 7, 2013
Larimer County Coroner Office
Investigator James MacNaughton
495 N Denver Avenue
Loveland, CO 80537
The deceased male who was found in Rocky Mountain National Park on February 5, 2013 has positively been identified by our office as Troy Alexander Green, age 39 of San Antonio, Texas.
An autopsy was performed today, February 7, 2013. Manner of death is determined to be Suicide. Cause of death is due to asphyxia by hanging.
No other information will be released.
Team 5 on the second full day of searching. Picture by Mike Verbit.
1228hrs: Page from Dispatch for Oncall SARM to call Justin Whitesell (Ocean5).
John Lee (Larimer77) SARMIT, calls O5 to find out details. Initial reports are of an avi up on Cameron Pass. Conflicting reports as to how many subjects there were. There may be 2 subjects in the debris field, there may be none. RP wasn't sure and at that time, it was hard to verify how many subjects were affected. Decision was made to have LCSAR respond with 12-14 members. Snow rating would be helpful, but not necessary. Also to engage Diamond Peaks as through our avi pre-plan. TEMS was also notified. O5 said responders should respond direct but non-emergent to the Pass.
Lee Lang (Larimer66) was at Cache working on T10 so I decided to have him start up towards Cameron Pass. My thoughts were to get him going with the gear and the rest of the responders could catch up or could turn around if we were stood down, but the gear might be helpful if he made it before the rest of us.
Numerous pages were sent out and we ended up having 7 LCSAR members (1 not fieldable) and 1 SARMIT enroute. We also had 2 DP and 2 TEMS responders on their way. Deputy Earl Fawcett was also enroute.
1419hrs: Dispatch sends out page that any units not on scene can stand down. 4 LCSAR members made it to scene (1 not fieldable) and 1 SARMIT. By the time SARMIT reached scene, many ES personnel were on scene and 1 ambulance that had one of the subjects already loaded.
O5 relays to SARMIT that there were 3 people involved. One ended up having a broken leg and was in the ambulance, the other 2 were able to walk out on their own. All subjects were accounted for.
All LCSAR resources were released from the scene.
ES specialist: 1
SO deputies and other agencies: At least 5
LCSAR resources: 1 SARMIT, 1 ITC, 7 LCSAR members
Pictures published by permission: William A. Cotton
1930 hours: ES pages SAR managers. ES advises that some hikers found a suicide note near Spring Canyon dam, with roses and rose petals. A trail of rose petals was found going up toward the ridge on the area of Piano Bench (East side of Spring Canyon dam). ES requested that LCSAR be on stand-by for possible recovery, if the subject was located. ES specialist and deputies were searching for the subject. Subject was from Greeley, so law enforcement in Greeley were going to contact friends and family there.
2055 hours: ES advises that subject was located in Greeley, code 4. No response was needed by LCSAR.
ES specialist: 1
SO deputies and other agencies: unknown
SAR manager: 1
Other LCSAR resources: 0
1755 hours. SAR manager paged by dispatch, to contact ES re missing parties on Round Mountain. O17 advised that the two missing males left the Loveland home at 0800 this morning, to climb Round Mountain. The reporting party (RP) was the wife of one of the males. She indicated they usually return from their hikes in 4 to 5 hours. Since it was dark now, and well past their usual return, she contacted 911.
1814 hours. SAR manager contacted the ITC directly to get the SAR team paged for a 1930 staging at the Loveland Safeway, requesting dogs, trackers, and about 10-12 searchers. One dog handler was tasked with contacting the RP to obtain scent articles from the home.
1848 hours. While the SAR team was enroute to staging, the RP called and reported the men had returned home and were ok. SAR team was stood down.
ES specialist: 1
SAR members: 15 (including SAR manager and ITC)
No other agencies involved.
Hours: 12 hours
Miles: 200 miles
19:20 – SAR Manager paged Re: 24 YO Male missing from a walk-a-way situation near Otter Road and Woodchuck Drive, North of Masonville.
19:59 – SAR Team paged – requesting resources.
SAR Responded with 14 personnel and two dogs and staged at Masonville by 20:45.
SAR started up Otter Road from Masonville at 20:50 and while en route, was stood down by LCSO as further information showed subject was not "at risk".
SAR was clear at 21:15
SAR Manager – Mark Sheets
ES Specialist – Justin Whitesell
ITC – Mike Fink
Hours – 30
00:29 received page for a mission assist Boulder County in the morning for a lost target shooter in the Big Elk Meadows area. Boulder county search and rescue group Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG) was searching throughout the night and were asking for assistance to continue the search in the morning if the subject wasn't located by then. They had cell phone contact with him, but due to the phone in use, they could not get a good fix on his location. We had 2 dogs, 2 handlers, 2 searchers and one tracker preparing to respond for an 08:00 debriefing. At 02:00 we received a call from RMRG saying they located the subject and we could stand down.
1 SAR manager 2 hours
### END MISSION REPORTS 2013 ###