Andrew Clark Hecht Public Safety Achievement, Group Award
Preventive Search and Rescue Team, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This team's prevention efforts have saved the federal government nearly $500,000 in reduced search and rescue costs. The team's proactive approach of reaching out to hikers before they head off down the trail has led to reduced visitor injuries and hiker assists. The team uses safety messaging, visitor education, and promotion of safe hiking techniques. Rangers increased trail patrol hours and made about 80,000 trail contacts with visitors during the 2012 summer season. They identified nearly 33,000 hikers who were not properly prepared for the trail, suggested alternative itineraries, and coached visitors about proper hydration, food intake, rest, and shade.