Adventure Sports Journal Club Wilderness

Yosemite N’atl Park Search and Rescue

A great article can be found in the WMS (wilderness medical society) Journal called Search and Rescue in Yosemite National Park: A 10 year review by Eric Hung and David Townes.

They basically took a ten year review of the Yosemite Search and Rescue responses. Hats off to the YOSAR team not only for the service they provide, but the record keeping! The author’s data included some very interesting information with many possible applications.

January 1990 to December 1999 Yosemite Search and Rescue performed 1,912 missions and helped over 2,300 people.

Activities that caused problems include:
Hiking or snowshoeing 52%
Rock climbing 19%
Driving 6%
Skiing 5%

Reasons for calls include:
Fractures 20%
Sprains 14%
Dehydration/hunger 8%
Lacerations 7%
Nausea/vomiting 2%

Average duration of a mission/call-out: 5 hours
Average cost of a Mission/call-out: $4,400
Average response time: 3 hours

The Authors, Eric Hung MD and David Townes MD, MPH went on to discuss the interventions that can be used to lessen injury, illness and the subsequent need for SAR team deployment. Some examples included instructional videos shown to park users and staffing of trail heads to educate visitors.

Overall, the article is very good and adds volumes to a small body of knowledge, detailing national park injuries.  You can see the article here:
Search and Rescue in Yosemite National Park: A 10 year review

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