Scott Mascher – Sheriff 255 E. Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 Dwight D’Evelyn - Media Coordinator 928-777-7441 January 5, 2015 *** RESCUE OF STRANDED FAMILY – On January 1, 2015, YCSO Search and Rescue Volunteers provided assistance to a Phoenix family of four in an area off Bloody Basin Road in Yavapai County. At 6:30 PM, a man contacted YCSO and told dispatchers that he, his wife, and two children were stranded due to their truck getting stuck in a ditch. Fortunately, the truck was still running and providing heat. They also had water and snack foods available. Unfortunately, the man was unable to provide detailed directions to his location. The family had driven to the area from Cave Creek. Working with a cell phone service provider, dispatchers were able to obtain GPS coordinates. Under the direction of a Forest Patrol deputy, members of the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team (YCSRT) 4x4 Unit were called out on a search mission. Dispatchers remained in contact with the family to assure that help was on the way while attempting to ascertain their location by descriptive landmarks and cell phone GPS. In the 8 PM hour, the 4x4 team deployed and began the search. Just after 10 PM, the team located the stranded family and was able to bring them to safety. The efforts of these incredible volunteers prevented the family from an overnight stay in frigid temperatures. The family’s truck will be recovered at a later time. Lesson – Driving into unknown wilderness areas at night is a risk and should be avoided unless properly planned to include an understanding of the terrain. As with many rescues in the past, the cell phone was a lifeline for this family with good battery life being an important factor. But remember, there are portions of Yavapai County where cell phone signals do not work. This is why a personal satellite tracker is the only other option. These trackers operate almost anywhere and provide that extra measure of safety. Finally, the foursome smartly remained stationary utilizing their heat source and food. Wandering away from the scene is hazardous and can only make it more difficult for rescuers.
Posted on: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 18:22:11 +0000
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