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Rangers Rescue Two Over the Weekend

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Grand Teton National Park rangers were called to the aid of two back country travelers over the weekend, while the injuries they suffered were comparatively minor.  Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says the first of the calls for help came in at 3:45 Friday evening to Hanging Canyon where a hiker had mis-stepped on snow and suffered a severely injured his leg.  33 year-old Lauren Hall of Jackson, had successfully climbed a feature known as “The Jaw” with a companion when the snow gave way under his foot and his foot hit a rock.    Considering the time of day and anticipated weather, rangers met Hall with a helicopter and airlifted him out.  Rangers responded to another call for help Sunday evening where a 52 year-old hiker also injured his leg, but was walked out with the help of rangers.  Skaggs explains that despite an injury that is not life-threatening like a broken leg, it is sometimes preferred to execute an aerial rescue, both for the safety of the rescuers and the patient.  Skaggs explains it takes a lot more time and energy on the parts of all of those involved including the injured person and the rangers.  Consequently, she says the park weighs how many people it’s going to take to evacuate the person by ground methods rather than by air, what time of day the evacuation is taking place, and the type of weather that is moving in.  In this case, all of those indictors pointed to employing an aerial evacuation.   Once on the valley floor, Skaggs says both patients were able to self-transport to St. John’s Medical Center for treatment.

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