Busy start to summer for search and rescue crews


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Coming off a record-breaking year in 2016, Gallatin County Search and Rescue teams have responded to 11 incidents in June.

According to Gallatin County Search and Rescue Commander Jason Jarrett, crews responded to a record 132 calls in 2016. That record may be broken this year.

He says he spike in calls could be traced back to the population increase throughout southwestern Montana.

With more people in the area, Jarrett says, search and rescue crews will likely have more incidents to respond to.

Six different agencies worked together to save a father and his 6-year-old son from being swept up in the Gallatin River June 25.

"Water in and of itself is dangerous, and you really have to keep an eye on your kids -- you have to pay attention," Jarrett said. "It can turn tragic in a heartbeat."

Jarrett told NBC Montana that it's not only out-of-towners who face these dangerous situations -- 65 percent of all calls come from native Montanans.

"The backcountry is our backyard here, but it's still backcountry, and because it's so familiar, people forget that," Jarrett said.