On February 28, 2024, at 9:43 am, West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a 911 call from a snowmobiler who was recreating with a group of friends when a member of the group crashed their snowmobile in the creek and sustained serious injuries. The caller indicated the injured snowmobiler was in severe pain and on a snowmobile that was still in the creek near Two Top Loop, 4.2 miles south of West Yellowstone, Montana.
Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue (GCSSAR) volunteers from the West Yellowstone detachment, West Yellowstone Police Department, Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the request for aid. Due to the patient being in the creek and reporting severe injuries, it was determined the best and most efficient way for responders to assist would be through via use of snowmobiles and a specialized snowmobile towed “snowbulance.” Members from GCSSAR extracted the patient from the creek and packaged them for transport from the location by snowbulance to a staged Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District ambulance. Weather prevented air ambulance from getting to West Yellowstone, so the patient was evacuated to a safe location and handed off during transit to Air Idaho for transport to Eastern Idaho Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment.
Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer would like to commend the original reporting party for providing emergency responders critical information that allowed the proper resources to be dispatched to ensure a hasty and efficient response from rescue teams. Sheriff Springer would also like to remind backcountry enthusiasts to always have the means to communicate with emergency services, and to always pack enough supplies and clothing in case of unforeseen emergencies in the backcountry.