Helmets Save Lives

Monday, May 26, 2014

This year's Memorial weekend has been very busy for our Unit, but there's one story that sticks out the most because we see this very often.


Last Saturday evening, our Unit was dispatched to Red Rock in response to reports of a fallen climber.  Our volunteers and officers began to head to the area by car while our pilots fired up the 500 and flew to the area.  It was reported that the climber had taken a fall on Peyote Power. 

When our rescuers reached the patient, it was apparent that he had taken a large fall based on his injuries.  His helmet was cracked and he complained of pain in his ribs, wrist, and ankle.  Friends who were on scene and witnessed the fall reported that while falling, his pro had dislodged, which resulted in a 20-30 foot fall.  When the climber abruptly stopped, one side of his body along with his head slammed into the rock face.  Although he was awake when rescuers arrived, he had initially lost consciousness.

Rescuers treated his injuries, but the big concern was the head injury that the climber had sustained.  Based on this concern, the climber was short-hauled out of the canyon where he was delivered to a waiting ambulance.

This is a photo of the outside of the climber's helmet (a bit deceiving):



And the inside (this tells the story):



There's no question that this helmet saved a life.

When it comes to climbing, or belaying, or being anywhere near a situation where your head may come in contact with rock, wearing a helmet will potentially save your life.  With that said, put one on!  It's such an easy thing to do.
Read more »

Frogland Rescue

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
 
Last Saturday, while lead climbing the 3rd pitch of Frogland, witnesses say that a climber lost his footing and succumbed to a fall of about 20 feet, allegedly breaking his right arm and injuring the right side of his body.

Kevin Riley and Ian Valley, both with Action in Solitude, were also climbing Frogland at the time and captured something that most people don't get to experience -- a first-hand account of the accident along with video of the actual rescue.  Here's Kevin's version of the events that took place:
On November 30th 2013, Ian Valley and I decided to get on Frogland, a mega-classic route on the Whiskey Peak formation in Red Rocks. After I led the first wandering pitch (not the actual first pitch but pretty cool nonetheless) we arrived at a bolted anchor. Someone then alerted us that there was a helicopter coming (unbeknownst to us the incident had already happened and someone had called 911 to activate Search and Rescue).
At some point that morning, Dani Ramos from the Bay Area started leading the 3rd pitch. After traversing out, he started moving up a crack having clipped a bolt and placing two pieces. At this point his foot blew and he fell approximately 15-20 ft. upside down, allegedly breaking his right arm and causing injuries of unknown severity to his right leg.
After Search and Rescue was activated they arrived by helicopter below the initial pitches of Frogland. The helicopter pilot would set the ship down on one skid on top of a large boulder, to let the SAR members out one by one. Initially one of the members led the first two pitches of the route, after arriving at the large belay ledge (which happened to be pretty crowded with 6 people on it) where the injured party was located, they fixed lines for lowering Dani in a basket. After a few more SAR members arrived on scene they proceeded to raise the litter up to Dani, get him packaged and lower him down below the beginning of the route. At this point the helicopter came back in with a long line to extract Dani and one of the Search and Rescue team members back to ground transport and/or the hospital.
We hope for Dani’s quick recovery so he can get back on the rock soon!
We couldn't have said it better ourselves -- or captured it better.  Kevin and Ian had a camera on-hand, which resulted in the following footage, a very rare glimpse into one of our rescue operations:


After Dani was given medical attention and extracted from Frogland, he was short-hauled to a waiting ambulance.  We wish Dani a speedy recovery!

Special thanks to Kevin and Ian with Action in Solitude for taking the time to put this footage together.  Definitely a rarity.
Read more »

Wilderness First Aid Course 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


We are happy to announce that we'll be hosting a Wilderness First Aid course before the year is up!  One of our Mountain Rescue volunteers is a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) certified instructor and he has offered to teach this year's course.
  • This course is designed to introduce outdoor enthusiasts and individuals working in remote locations to wilderness medicine principles.
  • Learn how to improve equipment, deal with challenging environments, and act with confidence.
  • Classroom lectures and demonstrations are combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will help you integrate your learning.
Dates:  December 7-8, 2013 (8:00am - 5:00pm both Saturday and Sunday)
Location:  Las Vegas, NV
Cost:  $225/person
Payment Type:  Cash, Check, or Credit (via Paypal)

If you're interested in taking this course, check out the information below and sign up today!
Send us a note using our Contact Page if you have any questions. 
Read more »

How the Balloon Festival Came to be

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If you've had the opportunity to read the details outlined on our volunteer and donation pages, you'll quickly realize that there is a whole lot of time, dedication, and money that goes into being a LVMPDSAR volunteer.  We constantly strive to be the best, which results in an innate desire to attain the best equipment and training that we can put our hands on.  Our team constistently tests and researches the equipment and techniques that we use, we train multiple times a month, and on top of that, we look for ways to improve ourselves by hiring outside agencies to provide training to our Dive, Mountain Rescue, and TEMS teams.  We treat learning and growth just as seriously as we treat a mission and in the end, we want to be the best that we can be.

Like most non-profits, the desire to help the community often collides with funding.  The only way that we're able to pay for extra equipment or training without having to dig into our own pockets is to ask for donations.  Unfortunately for us, we're horrible at asking for donations.

A couple of years ago, the volunteers gathered in a room and discussed our fundraising options.  We knew that receiving donations from the community would help with our training and equipment needs, but we didn't feel comfortable making the request.  Instead, we rattled through a number of ideas and settled on hosting a hot air balloon festival.  We knew that it would be a huge undertaking and lots of work to organize, but we liked it because it would provide the community with an unforgettable event that we hoped they would enjoy.  And of course, the end result would be that we'd receive donations to meet our needs.

Since that meeting, our volunteers took the hot air balloon idea and ran with it!  Not only does our festival include hot air balloons, but we have many other activities to enjoy.  Delicious food, a carnival, rides, SAR and police demos, tethered and untethered balloon rides, and the opportunity to meet the LVMPDSAR volunteers in person.  As our second event quickly approaches, we have decided that accepting donations in a way that gives back to the community suits us best.

Please plan on joining us the weekend of October 25 - 27th.  We'll be at Southern Hills Hospital, located off of Sunset and the 215, and entry into the event is FREE!

For more information as well as an event schedule, visit the Las Vegas Balloon Festival website.

We hope to see you there!

Read more »

2013 Hot Air Balloon Festival: Oct 25 - 27

Thursday, September 12, 2013





This year's annual Hot Air Balloon festival will be held October 25th - 27th at Southern Hills Hospital.  Come join us for morning burns, hot air balloon rides, food, carnival, games, and numerous police and SAR helicopter demos throughout the day.  All funds raised during this event will help to purchase training and equipment for LVMPDSAR team members.

Southern Hills Hospital
9300 W. Sunset Rd.
Las Vegas, NV  89148

We hope to see you there!
Read more »

Kilimanjaro Summit

Friday, August 16, 2013
One of our MR volunteers summited Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341ft / 5,895m) on 8/7/13 at 5:50am and dedicated his accomplishment to Dave. Awesome job!

Read more »

David Vanbuskirk: 1976 - 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


It is with a heavy heart that we report the loss of one of our SAR Officers, David Vanbuskirk.  He died last night when he fell during the helicopter rescue of a stranded hiker at Mt. Charleston.

Dave was an extraordinary individual who was well-respected by his colleagues.  He was a leader, a friend, and played an integral role in our SAR family.  It is an understatement to say that he will be greatly missed.

Never Forgotten.
Read more »