Brian Whitehead, NPS Photo via KSL TV

Search and rescue crews anticipate busy summer for emergencies

By Tania Dean, KSL TV | Posted - May 22nd, 2018 @ 10:49am

SALT LAKE CITY — Search and rescue crews were called out for duty Monday in Big Cottonwood Canyon. A 25-year-old man was climbing with friends when he fell about 10 feet from a popular climbing area called Narcolepsy Wall. About a dozen rescuers brought him down the mountain.

It’s already their ninth or 10th rescue this year and that number will likely go much higher.

“Right now, we’re projecting to have a busier than normal season,” said Sgt. Ed Twohill with the Unified Police Department. “Last year, we had 85. This year we’re estimating somewhere around 100."

Unified police say summer is always the busiest time for search and rescues, and this summer could be worse because of the short winter and lack of snowfall.

“When school gets out, the weekends are very busy,” Sgt. Twohill said. “Any holiday weekend is also very busy.”

In southern Utah, rescue crews spend the weekend training in Zion National Park. Every year, they respond to about 250 emergency incidents.

Don’t become one of the numbers. Experts say take your cell phone, know your limits and be ready for anything.

“Whenever you go up on the mountain you should be prepared to stay at least 24 hours,” said Sgt. Twohill. “You don’t know if you’re going to get hurt. You don’t know if you’re going to get injured. You don’t know if a weather storm is going to come in really quick or not.”

Monday’s victim was taken to the hospital with an injured hip, but he was still smiling as he was loaded into the ambulance, thanks to rescue crews and the fact that he did a few things right.

“What he did right was he went with a friend, people knew where he was going, his friend had medical equipment and knowledge to help out,” Sgt. Twohill said.

Tania Dean

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