Multiple agencies help rescue injured man from backcountry Garfield County

Colorado River Fire and Rescue, Garfield County Search and Rescue, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, and CareFLIGHT of the Rockies work to rescue downed rider south of Silt Monday

A Colorado River Fire Rescue and multiple agencies responded to a rescue in the backcountry south of Silt Monday evening. One person was airlifted after being involved in an accident with a horse.
Provided by CRFR Battalion Chief Jerrod Merriam

Colorado River Fire Rescue helped coordinate the rescue of a man from the backcountry following an accident while on horseback just before 6 p.m. Monday.

The incident occurred five miles southeast of the intersection of County Road 313 and June Creek in a remote area with rough terrain, thick brush and limited access south of Silt.

“Knowing the area, the battalion chief knew this was rough terrain and very difficult to access, he immediately called for search and rescue to come help as well as the Sheriff’s Office, and called CareFlight right away,” CRFR Transitioning Fire Chief Leif Sackett said. 

They were able to coordinate with CareFLIGHT in the air to locate the patient in a ravine approximate one mile from an ATV/horseback trail.

“It was a very coordinated effort, and the communication between everybody was great. We were able to communicate with CareFLIGHT from the ground while they were in the air,” Sackett said “They were able to set down roughly 300-400 yards above the patient, and they made contact.”

While the helicopter located the patient, CRFR and Search and Rescue crews were able to navigate the thick brush with help from ATVs to a place the helicopter could transport them closer to the patient. 

“Our crews made it as far as they could on ATVs, the helicopter ended up shuttling out crews and search and rescue crews into where they initially landed. Our crews hiked in and helped carry the patient out,” Sackett said.

Just after 10 p.m., CareFLIGHT was able to transport the patient to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction.

No update was available as of Tuesday evening on the patients’ condition, Sackett said from what he understood the patient was alert and oriented and talking throughout the whole process.

“It wouldn’t have happened without everybody involved,” Sackett said. “CareFLIGHT was very instrumental in finding the patient and communication while they were in the air with out battalion chief.”

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