JACKSON (WNE) — This year marked the busiest year on record for Teton County Search and Rescue.
“Through November, we have had 123 calls for service,” the report issued by the group states. “Our previous record for the whole calendar year was 105, in 2021.”
A Dec. 21 press release sent by Matt Hansen, the communications director for the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation, detailed the findings of 2022.
“This past summer we responded to bike wrecks, horse wrecks, injured or tired hikers, backpackers and runners, swift-water emergencies, lost folks, a tragic lightning strike, and various other backcountry emergencies,” he wrote.
In 2022, TCSAR volunteers collectively put in more than 10,760 hours on SAR-related activities, the report states.
“Not only have we had a large call volume, but the severity of the injuries seems to be more intense and life-threatening,” it says.
Hiking was the highest rescue category this summer with 31% of the rescues. Mountain biking logged 27% and horseback riding claimed third place at 19%.
This past year also saw the volunteers and TCSAR Foundation take on the ambitious campaign of purchasing a year-round, SAR-dedicated helicopter. The goal is to provide the community with a reliable rescue helicopter all year long.
The campaign, called Mission Critical, calls on the TCSAR Foundation to raise $7.2 million in order to purchase an Airbus H125 helicopter and then hand it over to Teton County by fall 2023.