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2021 Search and Rescue mission numbers released for Gallatin County

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 19:05:37-05

BOZEMAN — The 2021 Gallatin County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) numbers have been logged and presented to the public: the team went on 134 missions last year.

Within those 134 missions, there were 34 searches, 69 rescues, and thousands of hours logged by volunteers. The two activities that needed rescuing most were hiking and snowmobiling, according to the 2021 annual report.

Back in June of 2020, a bond was passed that allotted spending for the SAR team, a new addition being a software program to better track volunteer hours, equipment use, and more.

“With rescue missions, it’s a lot of getting all the pieces of the puzzle together and finding out what the right plan of attack is,” Marcus Byrd said.

Byrd is a Search and Rescue Technician and has been on a fair share of calls. He describes what goes through his mind when answering an avalanche call.

“We’re weighing all the hazards we can be in, while being as effective as possible,” Byrd said.

Captain Scott Secor mentions that he and the team anticipate some people venturing higher up the mountain for better snow.

“You certainly have to predict that people are going to go higher up the mountain,” Secor said. “There may be human-triggered avalanches on the mountain where they’re going to find the good snow.”

A human-caused avalanche has yet to occur this season, but the team works to be prepared for any scenario they may come across.