Wilderness SAR Fact Sheet
If you have a backcountry emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately
Any delay in calling for help greatly increases the size of the search-area and decreases your chances of rescue.
A Search is an Emergency:
- Lost parties that remain in one spot will be found much faster. The national Hug A Tree program teaches children this lesson.
- Areas to be searched are determined by the travel plans, physical ability and experience of the subject, terrain features, past history of the area, statistical probability and theoretical travel distance. Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office created a “Backcountry Survival Guide” to assist in the case you are lost
- Cell coverage may be spotty or non-existent. Save battery life and have “location services” turned on before calling 9-1-1. Texting 9-1-1 also works, and uses less battery! No matter your carrier, a call or text to 9-1-1 will be picked up by any carrier who has service in that area for emergencies
- Every available resource, such as trained search dogs and aircraft, will be utilized when possible. However, they have limitations due to factors such as weather conditions, terrain, and altitude.
- Searching at night is not uncommon. Sounds travel farther and signal lights are easier to spot. Always carry the Ten Essentials, including a light and whistle!
- Who’s in charge? By Colorado statute, the county sheriff directs and is responsible for all search and rescue activities.
Your Rescue Depends upon your Actions:
- The best way to avoid rescue is to be prepared.
- By carrying the ten essentials you will dramatically increase your chances of survival.
- By being aware of your surroundings, you increase your situational awareness and survivability.
- Try not to panic, although it may take several hours, remember that help is on the way.
- Administer any necessary first-aid and keep yourself warm and dry.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Carry a map & compass and know how to use them.
- Carry a two-way communication device such as an In-Reach or Spot X.
- If you get lost … stop, and stay where you are. We’ll come find you!
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