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.
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
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
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.
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
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: 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.
SCRG is pleased to announce the 37th Annual Avalance Rescue
Seminar, aimed specifically at search and rescue team members.
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
For more information, please download the brochure/registration form here.
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/
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
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
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
Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you at the BBQ
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
Download the brochure/registration
We look forward to seeing you in Silverthorne!
Summit County Rescue Group Thanks The Wilderness Paramedic Program!Dec 30, 2013
SCRG Members Assist Flood Victims in Boulder, ColoradoNov 6, 2013