Avalanche in Morgan County buries snowcat, traps person

JM McBride

Authorities in Morgan, Utah, responded to an “avalanche incident” in the area of Gold Ridge on March 28, 2023.

According to a news release, Morgan County Fire & EMS “responded to an avalanche incident that occurred earlier today in the area of Gold Ridge. At approximately 12:30 in the backcountry, a large snow slide occurred; burying a snowcat and injuring two people which included the entrapment of one person.”

Snowcat.Photo byNOAAonUnsplash

Upon receiving the emergency call, “our dispatch center immediately dispatched a team of highly trained firefighters, EMT’s, air medical resources, law enforcement, and search and rescue personnel. The team arrived at the scene within an hour and immediately began the rescue operation,” according to the press release.

Rescue teams “were able to extricate the individual that was trapped under the snowcat. This took coordination and transportation of firefighters and EMT’s, ‘The Jaws of Life,’ sawzalls, and other heavy rescue equipment through approximately 5 miles of deep snow from the staging area to the scene,” the release said.

“Snowmobiles and tracked UTV’s helped to transport all of these people and equipment to the scene of the avalanche.”

Airlife Utah “was able to land, make contact, triage, and treat both patients while waiting for the rest of the resources to arrive at the scene. Both injured parties were hoisted by Utah DPS to awaiting medical resources,” according to the release.

"The critical patient that was freed from under the snowcat was taken to an area hospital by medical helicopter with a significant leg injury. The second patient was transported via ambulance with a head injury and is in stable condition. There were no fatalities," the release said. "Despite the challenging conditions and the treacherous terrain, personnel worked diligently to ensure that everyone involved was rescued safely.”

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