Quick response for injured snowmobiler near Church’s Park
March 21, 2016
A severe snowmobiling accident on Saturday March 19 sent local first responders into action after an Idaho Springs man suffered a compound fracture while recreating in the Church's Park area.
The injured party, a 52-year-old unnamed male from Idaho Springs, was snowmobiling with several friends near Church's Park when he was struck broadside by one of his riding companions. According to a press release from the Grand County Sheriff's Office initial reports of the accident claimed the injured snowmobiler's leg had been severed as a result of the accident. However, after a Grand County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene and made contact with the injured party authorities determined the injury was in fact a severe compound fracture and not a severed leg.
Grand County authorities received the initial call about the injured snowmobiler at 10:31 a.m. Saturday morning. The call indicated that the injured snowmobiler was in the Church's Park area near County Road 50, not far from Fraser. One of Grand County's Sheriff's Deputies, Sergeant Mike Reed, was off duty at the time of the call but was in the immediate area with his wife preparing to go snowmobiling when a citizen notified him of the accident.
Sergeant Reed made his way to the injured snowmobiler, initiated cell phone contact with dispatch and informed authorities that the injury was a severe compound fracture instead of a severed leg. The Deputy was also able to provide GPS coordinates for the injured man and requested a Flight For Life helicopter be dispatched.
During his initial response efforts Sergeant Reed was assisted by several snowmobilers who helped the deputy provide medical attention and support to the injured party. "Several citizens also joined in to pack snow for a landing zone and pathway to the Flight For Life helicopter to prepare for the evacuation of the patient," the press release states.
After initial calls were received GCSO deputy Sergeant Nate Macchione responded to the scene of the accident on a department snowmobile. Assisting Sergeants Reed and Macchione was Craig Snowden, a member of the Welling Colo. Fire and EMS Department. The press release from the GCSO states, "the efforts of Snowden, Sergeant Reed, Sergeant Macchione, numerous citizens that stopped to help, and the rapid response of Flight For Life made this an extremely successful rescue."
According to the press release the injured subject was extricated from the mountain within 45 minutes of the original call for help. Flight For Life transported the subject to Denver for medical care.
Grand County Search And Rescue (GCSAR) was paged out to the incident at 10:37 a.m. Saturday morning. Members of the GCSO escorted Incident Command through traffic to a nearby trailhead. At the time of the call on Saturday the snowmobiles used by GCSAR were in the Grand Lake area for a training mission. Search and Rescue planned to field three team members for the operation, utilizing snowmobiles from both the GCSO and Grand County EMS, but a stand-down page was received by GCSAR after the Flight For Life helicopter arrived on scene.
Likewise members of the Grand County EMS Mountain Medical Response Team responded to the staging area but were stood-down after the arrival of the Flight For Life helicopter.
The press release from the Sheriff's Office closed by stating, "the accident was investigated and it does not appear that any charges will be pursued at this time.
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