Mock mission Saturday,
April 14 at Barnhardt Trailhead.
Mission went well, though it had some interesting twists and
3 Airlines reported PLB signal south of Payson. Civil Air
Patrol notified, and GCSO notified.
Due to snow, we were not sure if CAP would be able to
launch, so GCSO brought PLB locator device.
We set it up and it sounded like signal was coming from the
canyon the Barnhardt trail follows.
CAP was able to launch at 9:30 and found signal near Rye. We
let them know we had a signal coming from the canyon,
and they were able to confirm it and isolate it fairly
We sent a mounted team in with our locator, and since
appeared to be a good likelihood that the signal was coming
from the canyon, followed them with a ground team with
medical skills. Mounted team located 3 subjects, one with
injured leg, and determined we would need rope rescue.
Sent rope gear in with rope team members.
Meanwhile a report came in that a church group or science
class was reported overdue in the same area, vehicle was
and located in parking lot. Started dog and tracking team on
the vehicle, but no scent article was available so dog teams
had a difficult time getting started.
It was discovered that at the party of 3 with the injured
leg, 2 of the party had left the injured subject to find
help, and were now missing.
We attempted to put dog teams on the tracks, but did not
have scent articles, so the dogs had difficulty getting
Someone arrived with scent articles, and the dog teams
worked with them, but possibly due to snow, high winds, etc,
come up with a solid signal. Dog teams found tracks, and
were following them.
When the rope rescue was completed, we were able to put
additional resources on the missing subjects, and had
working in their direction when they hiked out.
As in any mission, we learned a lot, and as with any
mission, the biggest issues were complete communications.
It took a bit to come to the realization that it was all the
same group instead of 2 different groups. In retrospect,
all of the information was there, just needed to be all put
The team that rescued the injured subject got to work with a
horse drawn litter over a very rough trail. It was a
help for the team compared to a normal litter and wheel