Search and Rescue
Search and rescue in the park and surrounding forests is a function of the ranger division in the park and the Sheriff's office outside the park. The helitack crew and helicopter are often called upon to assist by doing aerial searches of the area or ferrying searchers to the site. If the victim is in an area that will present more dangers to the rescuers by trying to rescue them using ground rescue methods, the helicopter and crew are certified to perform a shorthaul or power on landing and extraction.
The pilot usually can position the rescuers right next to the patient. They unhook from the rope to prepare the person to be flown out by placing them either in a litter or in a "screamer suit." A "screamer suit" is a body harness used to extricate people from the backcountry. The pilot then returns with the rope and they hook up and are lifted to a waiting ambulance or other emergency vehicle to get them to a definitive medical care.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.