Park County Search and Rescue volunteers and many other first responders rescued an 84-year-old fisherman who had fallen and his head while on the North Fork.

On Sept. 9 at 3:36 p.m. the Park County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division received a call for assistance on U.S. 14-16-20 West near mile marker 27.5. An 84-year-old male had fallen and sustained injury to his back and head while fishing. He was located about 500 yards upstream under the bridge near the river’s edge. 

Park County Search and Rescue, Park County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Cody Regional Health Ambulance were all paged to respond. A deputy was the first unit to arrive on scene at 4:15 p.m. 

As other units were arriving the Cody Fire Department, returning to Cody from another call, also stopped to assist. The gentleman was assessed by EMS and packaged with a cervical collar and full body vacuum splint for spinal immobilization. He was then hauled up the hill via a rope haul system that PCSAR personnel had constructed. He was then secured to a litter and transported to the waiting Cody Regional Health ambulance at approximately 4:58 p.m. 

A “rope haul system” is an example of the specialized training that the Park County Search and Rescue Team has received. This method is utilized to provide a mechanical advantage in moving large items with minimal effort. Referred to as a “Dual Main 3:1,” the hauling system provides a pull that is three times easier. Preventing fatigue on the rescuer and providing a safer extraction for the subject. 

The multi-agency cooperation, that has become the standard in Park County, along with high levels of training and experience, led to another successful rescue mission. 

“Even though the fire department was not formally requested to respond to this incident they immediately jumped in to provide service and answer the call of duty, just another example of the exemplary team work that can be counted on in Park County,” undersheriff Andy Varian staid.

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