United Search and Rescue of Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and K9 Search and Rescue of Dolores have been busy with trainings and actual missions.
On Nov. 11, the teams were put on stand-by for possible call out to search for missing hunters in the Stoner area. The hunters were able to walk out own their own and were in good condition.
On Nov. 15, the teams were put on stand by again for overdue parties who looking for equipment from the previous missing hunters. The United Search and Rescue (USAR), and K9 teams responded the morning of Nov. 16. Teams were deployed into the field to start tracking the overdue individuals from their last seen point at the Stoner Creek and Colorado Highway 145. Dolores County Sheriff was on seen as well, and helped facilitate a search helicopter from Durango. With this helicopter overhead and the ground teams, the subjects were located and returned back to their vehicles with no incidence or injury.
On Nov. 19, the teams did a joint training search and rescue exercise at Goodman Point. There was both the USAR and K9 teams, as well as Civil Air Patrol, and Saint Anthony’s Flight for Life helicopter from Durango. This training exercise including 29 local search and rescue personnel in attendance.
On Nov. 21, USAR was called out for two overdue teenagers from Durango who were camping up on the Gold Run area above Transfer Campground when they were surprised by the amount of snow that fell that evening. Their vehicle got stuck in the deep snow and was unable to return on their own. One teenager was able to walk to cell phone coverage and call his parents who then called for help from the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. Several USAR team members were able to make it to the second teenager, who was found walking down the road. Both subjects were transported out with no medical conditions.
On Nov. 21, USAR was called out again that evening for an overdo hiker near Trail Canyon. This subject returned back to their residence just as teams were ready to deploy into the field to start searching.
Last fall, team members from K9 Search and Rescue, United Search and Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and Flight For Life came together for a joint exercise on the mesas west of Cortez.
Durango-base Flight For Life landed on scene to provide training on how to work with and around the helicopter. All team members, including the dogs, were given the chance to practice loading in and out of the helicopter. One dog and handler from K9 Search & Rescue practices “hot loading”, or loading while the helicopter was running. All participating team members received a “Lift Ticket” which shows that they have received the training necessary for working with Flight For Life during an actual mission.
Teams also participated in a mock search for two missing hunters. Dogs from K9 SAR and man trackers from USAR worked together to find the missing men while the CAP plane searched overhead. Both “missing” men were located successfully.
United Search and Rescue team as well as K9 team just wanted to thank everyone in our community who helps support the local search and rescue groups!