On Saturday July 5, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Big Sky Division of Sheriff’s Search & Rescue, and the Big Sky Fire Department responded to two separate incidents.

At 12:23pm, rescue units responded to a lost 12 year old boy near the Ousel Falls Trailhead in Big Sky, MT. The child had become separated from his parents while mountain biking and had been missing for an hour. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and Search & Rescue units were mobilizing when the lost child was able to contact his parents via a cell phone. The boy’s location was determined to be a short distance from the trailhead and he was soon reunited with his parents.

At 3:30pm, rescue units responded to the report of a 43 year old male hiker who had slipped while carrying his 2 year old child and injured his right leg. His wife was able to take the child and call 911 from the location of the accident. Big Sky Search and Rescue, using ATV’s, were able to arrive at the hikers’ location 24 minutes after the initial call. They immobilized the injured hiker’s ankle and rescuers transported the man by ATV to the trailhead where the Big Sky Fire Department ambulance was already staged. The patient was transported by ambulance to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for treatment of a suspected broken ankle.

As a reminder, everyone entering the backcountry should take a partner and to carry a reliable means of communication in case of emergencies. A working cell phone, in conjunction with being in an area of good cell reception, played an important role in the successful search and rescue of these two individuals.