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CCSO Snow Cat Search and Rescue Emergency

Sedona AZ – Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Snow Cat and Search and Rescue volunteers were utilized to transport a diabetic emergency from Young, Arizona, to an awaiting ambulance. The patient was successfully moved to a Payson hospital for treatment.

In preparation for expected heavy snowfall, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deployed and pre-positioned a snow cat vehicle along with a Search and Rescue crew to Forest Lakes. The personnel and equipment were tasked with responding and supporting the communities of Forest Lakes and Heber in Navajo County, while the crew’s housing and snow cat paramedic assignments, as well as coordinating its resource with surrounding fire departments and ambulance companies, became the responsibility of the Forest Lakes Fire department.

Around 8:00 in the evening, the Pleasant Valley Fire Department and Life Line Ambulance responded to a diabetic emergency in Young, AZ. Life Line Ambulance, unable to assist due to impassable roads, contacted Forest Lakes Fire and requested the snow cat response. The Search and Rescue crew with Forest Lakes Fire paramedics responded near Young.

The snow cat crew traveled approximately 12 miles towards Young during heavy snow fall, with visibility down to ten feet. They arrived shortly after 10:00 in the evening, and Pleasant Valley Fire transferred the patient to the snow cat paramedics.

The crew traveled back to AZ State Route 260, then transported the patient another six miles to ColCourd Camp Ground in Gila County (between Forest Lakes and Payson) and transferred the patient to Life Line Ambulance. Life Line was able to transport the patient to the Payson hospital.

The Forest Lakes Fire Department, Pleasant Valley Fire Department, Life Line Ambulance, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement, Gila County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Search and Rescue volunteers were involved in this operation.

The CCSO would like to thank all the agencies for their preplanning, communication, coordination and participation in making this operation and response a success.

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