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Remote Wilderness Medical Evacuation From Grouse Lake

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Tuolumne County, CA – On August 27th at approximately 10:40 PM, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s dispatch received an urgent call reporting a medical emergency in the secluded vicinity of Grouse Lake, accessible solely by trail. Responding to the challenging circumstances, Search and Rescue (SAR) swiftly initiated their protocols, recognizing the need for action in this remote wilderness location.

Upon discovering that air support was infeasible until the morning, the Search and Rescue(SAR) team strategized a plan. They organized a horseback response to reach Grouse Lake and provided assistance to the patient. The plan included leveraging the expertise of CHP H40 – CHP Central Division Air Operations to conduct an air evacuation the following morning.

SAR members Spokas and Wycoff embarked on a horseback journey to the lake, a challenging trek that spanned approximately two hours. Once on-site, they remained with the patient throughout the night, ensuring his well-being. At around 5:30 AM, the awaited CHP H40 helicopter arrived at Grouse Lake. In the presence of CHP H40, Spokas and Wycoff prepared the patient for evacuation using a hoist. The patient was transported to a hospital for further medical assessment and care.

Following the mission’s conclusion, Aspen Meadow Pack Station facilitated the packing and transporting of the patient’s gear, which had been left behind at the lake.