“Know yourself. Be yourself. Love yourself. Seek goodness and be goodness. Seek beauty and be beauty. Seek love and be love.” ― Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

23 July 2011

Rescue Me: Colorado

Today is the last day of our Colorado contract working with Great Southwestern Construction. Leaving is bittersweet when you meet such wonderful people, but it's also good to go home for a few days.

PJ had another opportunity to do a high altitude mountain rescue. A young woman took a tumble with some boulders and suffered a broken arm. She was picked up from Mt. Wilson at 13,700'.

Posted below is an article from a local newspaper and two videos of footage taken the day of her rescue.
[Click on photos to see them enlarged]

Say hello to my little friend.

I see deer everyday. This is the closest I have been able to get to them.

I'd like to think they were looking at me, but they were really watching my dog.

More sweet people from Norwood, out for a ride over their hometown.

Sleepy girl.

Cierra getting some love.

An MD600 at KTEX.

The MD600 has no tail rotor.

The local sheriff and mountain rescue.

A beautiful day at KTEX.

PJ with Eric after rescuing the injured hiker from Mt. Wilson, CO.

Injured woman rescued from Mt. Wilson

Marks the second search and rescue mission in a week in the Wilsons

By Kathrine Warren
Staff Reporter
Published: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:11 AM CDT
With mountain climbing season in full swing, San Miguel County officials performed the second rescue in the Wilsons in less than a week on Saturday.

A 26-year-old woman from Littleton was injured by rockfall around noon while climbing the northwest face of Mt. Wilson. She sustained significant trauma to her left arm.

“Rocks are always falling up there,” said San Miguel Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Westcott.

The climber, whose name was not released, was with two other climbers, and they were able to call for help with a cell phone.

It was reported that she suffered a compound fracture.

San Miguel County Search and Rescue personnel once again recruited helicopter pilot PJ Hunt, of Talkeetna, Alaska, who is in the area on contract with The Great Southwest Construction Company working on the power line project on Wilson Mesa.

He flew last weekend’s rescue mission after a climber fell on El Diente and spent the night in a snowfield with an open leg fracture.

Hunt flew San Miguel Sheriff’s Office Commander and Paramedic Eric Berg and search and rescue member Mark Neyens to the scene early Saturday afternoon.

Once the victim was located, Neyens was dropped off at a snowfield at 12,600 feet and Berg was flown up and dropped off with the climbing party at 13,700 feet. He performed first aid and assessed her injuries while Hunt flew back down to Neyens to prepare the helicopter for rescue. The helicopter’s doors were removed and Hunt flew back up to the victim.

She was loaded into the helicopter and flown down to Neyens where he performed a full head to toe exam. Hunt returned to the scene of the accident to pick up Berg and he was flown down to the snowfield where the doors were reinstalled and the victim and both rescuers were loaded.

They arrived to the Telluride Regional Airport at about 3:30 p.m. and she was transferred to the Telluride Medical Center by ambulance.

Wescott said the sheriff’s office sees at least one or two rescues from Mt. Wilson each summer. The mountain is located in Dolores County, but San Miguel County operates high terrain rescues because it is better equipped and has more personnel.

“They’ll do what they can and we’ll do what we can,” Wescott said. “We’ve always had an excellent relationship with Dolores County.”

In past summers, the sheriff’s office has used a helicopter pilot out of Olathe, but he was unavailable for the past two rescues.

“It was very handy to use Hunt,” Wescott said. Berg saw Hunt flying overhead last weekend and was able to use a radio from the ground to contact Hunt and he agreed to fly the rescue operation.

“He’s familiar with flying in nasty conditions,” Wescott said. “It didn’t take long for [Berg] to realize this guy knows what he’s doing.”

Wescott said it was unclear if the climber had Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card, which helps cover the costs of rescue missions. “As long as you’ve paid into that fund, that helps counties out,” he said.

The CORSAR card is available at the sheriff’s office and local outdoor shops for just $3 a year or $12 for five years.

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