Friday rescue operation successful


A multi-agency search and rescue operation successfully rescued a 30-year-old Denver man who injured himself while in the backcountry Friday afternoon.

According to Archuleta County Director of Emergency Management Thad McKain, a report came in around noon on Friday of a 30-year-old male with a possible broken ankle in the Sand Creek area.

Upon receipt of that call, McKain, three members of the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, four members of the local incident management group, San Juan National Forest Squad 6, SJNF Fire Management Officer Steve Hentschel and EMS personnel hiked about 1.5 miles to reach and tend to the patient, McKain reported in an email to SUN staff.

The patient was then “packaged” and brought out using a rolling stokes to an ambulance, where he was treated before being transported to Pagosa Springs Medical Center.

The effort was complete and personnel returned to the county’s Emergency Operations Center by 5:15 p.m., McKain noted.

“Squad 6, led by Capt. Jacob Birdsell, was an immense help. The area was covered with dead and down trees and they cleared a path for us with chainsaws and a lot of work. The mission was a success and great demonstration in multi-agency teamwork,” McKain wrote.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Upper San Juan Search and Rescue is invited to contact McKain at 731-4799.