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Summit County Rescue Group Thanks The Wilderness Paramedic Program!

The Summit County Rescue Group gratefully acknowledges the significant field support provided by the Wilderness Paramedic program of the Summit County Ambulance Service.  This program is unique in the country and delivers Advanced Life Support care free of charge in a backcountry setting.  All Wilderness Paramedics have significant field rescue expertise and provide invaluable medical skill and patient care that would otherwise be unavailable.  These paramedics deliver critical care and professional support for those in need in the backcountry.

SCRG Members Assist Flood Victims in Boulder, Colorado

It was nearly midnight on September 12 when SCRG was called to assist during the serious flooding in the Boulder area in September.  Several of our members are also trained as members of Summit County's Swift Water Rescue Team (SWRT) and they were especially critical because of the serious nature of the flooding and the prospect for more rains in the coming days.

 

The team consisted of Colin Dinsmore, Preston Burns, Mike Miller, Devon Haire, and John Reller of SCRG and SWRT, Sgt. Cale Osborn and Zak Slutzky of the Summit County Sheriff's Office and SWRT, and Cris Bezinque and Drew Fantana of Dive Rescue.

 

The team was on scene in Boulder by early morning and immediately noticed the significant damage to the surrounding area.  There were downed power lines, gas lines blown, and utility companies unsure at that point whether their lines were active or not.  The damaged roads still had not been completely cleared by civil engineers, and there were frequent wash outs.

 

The team was directed to Lefthand Creek where there was major damage.  Because of the destroyed infrastructure, the team had to hike a few miles up the canyon, wearing full dry suits and hauling swift water, rigging, medical and personal gear.  As a Blackhawk helicopter assessed the situation overhead, the team had to access their objective by scrambling over road wash outs, skirting major cliff erosions created by the flooding, and slogging through large areas of debris and mud that had washed over the road all the way to the river.

 

The river had completely surrounded the homes that were the team's objective, and the team's unfamiliarity with the waterway meant they found it difficult to differentiate the actual river channel.  Preston Burns commented, "The water flow of the creek at this point in the operation was absolutely terrifying and like nothing I have ever seen in an urban environment."  The team heard boulders the size of cars tumbling down the creek, and their impact could be felt when the boulders collided.

 

With one member anchored to a large tree and acting as the belay while another member was at the river's edge, they found themselves in very close proximity to a fully severed natural gas line.  This went on for the entire first day of operations.  As the evacuations continued, the team would find more people in need of help, in addition to their pets.

 

The Swift Water Rescue Team was in the Boulder area through the 14th, and assisted in the rescue of numerous people and their pets in what were arduous conditions.  The extreme nature of the flooding put understandable stress on the residents, and the team found itself in at least one situation where communication was challenging and the resident not wanting to leave.  But some patience and creativity and the situation was resolved satisfactorily.

 

In addition to the swift water operations, 13 SCRG team members volunteered to support Rocky Mountain Rescue (Boulder) in their on-going SAR operations.  Unfortunately, weather prohibited fielding most SAR teams during the periods we were available.  However, members were able to witness the large scale effort with numerous helicopter operations, and to interact and reinforce our relationship with several other teams from throughout the state.  Members who went to Boulder were Andy Demaline, Ben Butler, Glen Kraatz, Mitch Painovich, Ryan Lewthwaite, Scott Young, Shawn Davis, Tim Davidson, Cindy Ebbert, Dave Wandel, Martin Allen, Matt Parker, and Charles Pitman.

Annual Avalanche Seminar on January 11-12, 2014 Information!

The Summit County Rescue Group will be hosting the Annual Avalanche Seminar on January 11-12, 2014!

After a poor early season snow year in 2012/2013 forced SCRG to cancel the seminar for the first time ever, SCRG has decided to move the popular seminar for rescuers back a month.

Details of this year's seminar can be found here: SCRG Avalanche Seminar Brochure

January public avy clinic Shari 2

 

Mountain Rescue Association Re-Certification Passed with Flying Colors!!

We passed! SCRG passed its recertification for the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA). This recert is done every five years and consists of snow (avalanche), high angle (cliff face), scree evac, uphaul, and search scenarios. The team under test is evaluated by other MRA certified teams from within the Rocky Mountain region. The two day intensive event was conducted this past Saturday and Sunday. MRA is the 'gold standard' for certification of search and rescue teams in the country and the certification is not something every team in the U.S. chooses to undertake. In fact, only 63 teams in the U.S. have chosen to become fully accredited by the MRA.

UPDATE: Avalanche Seminar CANCELLED - SCRG Avalanche Seminar

UPDATE: The avalanche seminar has been cancelled due to lack of snow.  Unfortunately, SCRG teachers and members were unable to find locations with enough snow to due a proper training.  At this time, SCRG is still deciding whether to reschedule or completely cancel the seminar.  More information will be posted here when it is known.

Original Post:

SCRG is pleased to announce the 37th Annual Avalance Rescue Seminar, aimed specifically at search and rescue team members.

Avy seminar 2006 Faust 2

A two day Avalanche Rescue Seminar designed specifically for members of Search and Rescue
groups will be held on December 8th and 9th, 2012. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center,
Colorado Search and Rescue Board and the Summit County Rescue Group sponsor this seminar.

A two day Avalanche Rescue Seminar designed specifically for members of Search and Rescue groups will be held on December 8th and 9th, 2012 sponsored by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Colorado Search and Rescue Board and the Summit County Rescue Group.

For more information, please download the brochure/registration form here.

SCRG Ski Movie Fundraiser Thursday November 8th - WE by Poor Boyz Productions

Come out this Thursday, November 8th at 8pm and enjoy a great ski movie and help support the Summit County Rescue Group.

The movie will be at 8pm at the Dillon Dam Brewerty.

Poor Boyz Productions and the Dillon Dam Brewery are supporting a fundraiser for SCRG by premiering PBP's newest film, WE: A Collection of Individuals. There will be raffle tickets and prizes!  For more details, click here: http://www.facebook.com/events/128840283931333/


Cliffed Out Hiker and Dog Rescued from Quandary Peak

At 1955hrs on Sunday. September 16th, Summit County Communications Center received a report of two overdue hikers on Quandary Peak, south of Breckenridge.  The Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) was dispatched, and discovered the hikers' vehicle at the Blue Lakes Trailhead, on County Road850.  Initial SCRG responders discovered one of the two hikers making his way to the vehicle.  This hiker relayed that his hiking companion and a dog were uninjured, but "cliffed out" southwest of the West Ridge route without any technical gear.  He had downclimbed to seek help using abandoned equipment found in the area.  17 members of SCRG responded to assist the cliffed out hiker and dog.  The cliffed out hiker and dog were both lowered to safety and were escorted off the West Ridge route, returning to their vehicles around 0630hrs Monday morning.

Every year, the Summit County Rescue Group responds to calls for assistance from hikers that are hiking with their dogs.  Evacuating dogs from technical terrain increases the risk to both rescuers and subjects.  In view of the recent rescue of "Missy" from Mt. Bierstadt and several rescues from the West Ridge of Quandary Peak, here are some tips to make your next hike with your dog a successful event for all involved.

As you choose a route, think about the terrain.  Is there scrambling involved?  Will your dog's movement increase rockfall danger?  Are there terrain features involved that might require you to raise or lower your dog, and are you equipped to do so?   If you are planning to carry a helmet, harness, and/or rope for yourself, think twice before taking your dog along with you.  Make sure you choose a route that is well within your, and your dog's, physical limitations.  A dog that rarely walks more than a few blocks at a time at sea level might not be a good candidate for a 12 mile hike above treeline.  Also, older dogs may have health issues that are not shown at sea level, but when brought to altitude and put to a stressful hike, can easily be disastrous, if not deadly, for the dogs.

Once you have chosen a route that is appropriate for your dog, check the weather.  Remember that your dog doesn't sweat the way a human does - they rely on panting to expel heat.  If it is hot, carefully monitor your dog for ill effects from the heat.  If it is cold, consider whether your dog is used to the cold.  A dog that doesn't spend much time outside during the winter might not be ready for a day outside in sub-freezing temperatures.  Did you know that dogs' eyes can be damaged by UV light?  Eye protection can minimize UV light damage to a dogs' eyes.  The effects of UV light and warmer temperatures can be minimized by hiking before 10 am, after 3 pm, and keeping your dog in the shade.

The condition of a dog's paws can be the key to a successful hike.  A day of hiking over rough terrain can severely damage the pads of a dog's paws, as illustrated by this photo, taken after evacuating a dog from Quandary Peak.  First, keep your dog's nails trimmed short.  This will help whether your dog is hiking barefoot or if he/she is wearing boots.  If your dog is accustomed to walking on rough terrain, he /she is probably fine "barefoot" and will use their toes to help grip the surface of the trail.  If your dog is not used to rough terrain, booties might be a good option to protect your dog's feet.  Try to keep your dog's paws dry.  As appealing as a mid-hike, 15 minute soak in a creek or lake might sound, wet paws can spell disaster for a dog on a hike because wet pads are easily worn down by rough trail surfaces or by the friction in boots.  We're not saying don't cool your dog off in a calm, flowing stream or river, but limit the time the feet are in the water. During the winter, keep the longer fur between the toes and pads of your dog's feet trimmed flush with the pads (and resist the temptation to shave it down to the skin).  This will help minimize the buildup of snow and ice on your dog's paws.

If you are skiing or snowshoeing with your dog, watch to see if your dog is "post-holing," which can cause injuries such as shoulder bursitis and ligament damage. Obviously the sharp edges on the skis, boards, and snowshoe "teeth" are additional hazards for our four legged friends.

Monitor your dog closely.  He or she usually will tell you when it is time to turn around.  If your dog is acting differently, picking up a paw, limping, switching weight bearing legs, or running three legged, your hike is over.  Vomiting and/or diarrhea are also signs that a dog is finished with his hike.  Keep in mind, even an injured dog, will continue to follow his owner until he physically is unable to continue.  Before starting your hike, consider your dog's overall health and pre-existing conditions.  Does your dog have hip dysplasia?  Elbow dysplasia?  Endocrine (thyroid, adrenal gland, etc) issues?  If so, please discuss your hiking plans with your veterinarian before heading out on the trails.

Finally, carry a first aid kit for your dog so that minor injuries can be treated and bandaged before they turn into major injuries on the hike out.

Even though these helpful hints seem like they should be common sense as you read this article in your home or at your favorite local coffee shop, it's very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the hike--the first 14er, the buddies from college visiting that you haven't seen in years, etc.  So, take a breath, eat and hydrate well in the morning before your hike, read the weather/avalanche report, check your gear, then stop for a minute and take a good look at your faithful, four-legged friend.  Honestly ask yourself, "Is this a good day for my dog to hike with me?" Hopefully, the answer will be a resounding "yes!"

 

Frisco BBQ Challenge - June 15 and 16

SCRG is at the corner of 2nd and Main St. in Frisco, grilling up jalapeno poppers and habanero poppers for your enjoyment at this year's Frisco BBQ Challenge!  We also have fried bananas and sweet tea for those craving something on the sweeter side.

Friends of SCRG merchandise - t-shirts, wristbands, and SCRG history books - will all be available at the BBQ Challenge.  For your convenience, we can accept credit card transactions on site!

Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you at the BBQ Challenge!

Skiing Accident on Buffalo Mountain

On March 30, 2012 at 1503hrs, Summit County Communications Center was advised of an injured backcountry skier in Silver Couloir on Buffalo Mountain near Silverthorne.  The Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) deployed 36 rescuers to evacuate the injured skier and his companions.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was in progress when rescuers arrived on scene.  This 27-year-old male from Denver was skiing with his brother and two friends when he apparently fell and slid approximately 1500 feet down Silver Couloir and struck some rocks.  The Summit County Coroner identified the decedent as Jeff Ipsen.

Tim Brown, an avalanche forecaster from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center who was also skiing in the area, assisted SCRG in evacuating the parties and confirmed that the skier's injuries did not result from an avalanche.  SCRG was also assisted by Flight for Life Colorado, the Summit County Ambulance Service, and Lake Dillon Fire Rescue.

We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Ipsen family.

Registration for SCRG's 36th Annual Avalanche Seminar is OPEN!

Download the brochure/registration form here.

We look forward to seeing you in Silverthorne!

Recent Posts

Summit County Rescue Group Thanks The Wilderness Paramedic Program!
Dec 30, 2013

SCRG Members Assist Flood Victims in Boulder, Colorado
Nov 6, 2013

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