ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – On Sunday, July 14, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station was notified of four missing hikers who had been part of a Boy Scout troop out of Diamond Bar. On Saturday, July 13, the troop had hiked the Vincent Gap Trail and spent the night in the Mine Gulch area of the Angeles National Forest.
One of the Scout Masters became ill and was unable to hike out of the area. The sheriff’s Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team responded late Sunday evening when they were notified by members of the troop who had hiked out of the area to safety.
Scout Master Don Sutton, a 55-year-old Diamond Bar resident, and three other members of the troop were spotted by a rescue helicopter from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, who were assisting Sheriff’s personnel with the search.
Members of the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team hiked several miles and located the hikers. Mr. Sutton was assisted to a clearing where he was air lifted by a fire department helicopter. The three other members of the scout troop hiked out of the canyon with deputies assigned to the rescue team. Mr. Sutton was transported by ambulance to a local hospital in San Bernardino. His condition is unknown at this time.
The Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team primarily searches for lost hikers. They are also called upon to assist with the search of lost children and adults suffering from diminished mental capacity disorders in urban environments, as well.
Los Angeles County has eight search and rescue teams who average over 350 rescue missions a year. This makes Los Angeles County one of the most active counties for search and rescue operations in the nation. Over 100 Search and Rescue team members are Reserve Deputy Sheriffs who give their time and risk their lives on a moment’s notice – for one dollar a year.
The Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team is a non-profit organization under the supervision of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. All team members are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) or paramedics and are trained in mountaineering, survival skills and search and rescue techniques. Team members have agreed to respond on an as needed basis 24/7 to perform rescue operations in the mountainous regions of Los Angeles County.
(Information via press release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.)