Search and Rescue open house and recruitment event this Saturday

Thursday, February 11, 2021
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An open house and recruitment event for Stillwater County Search and Rescue SAR) will be held this Saturday, Feb. 13, at the SAR Hall located at 32 E. Pike Ave. in Columbus from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

SAR is a group of volunteers dedicated to responding to a wide variety of calls varying in type and complexity ranging from rescues in the high alpine environments of the Beartooth Mountains to river rescues, to more land based rescue missions, said Sheriff ’s Deputy Skylar Steele.

“Our river rescue team must be diverse. We cover the Stillwater River, which is whitewater, and the Yellowstone river, which may not have whitewater but certainly has many dangerous currents and features,” said Steele. “We also frequently assist neighboring counties with water rescue. In 2020, we completed rescues using any tool at our disposal, including jet boats, rafts, helicopters, litters, vehicles, UTV’s and personnel. In most of our rescue situations, our personnel are the most valuable and important asset. For example, it takes a large team to move an injured person from Mystic Lake to the trailhead.”

In 2020, SAR responded to 21 calls, most of which occur during the summer.

“This past summer was anecdotally one of our busiest years, and we had more than one rescue call going on at the same time on several occasions,” said Steele.