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Tips for Successful Night Rescue in the Backcountry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 29, 2015

CONTACT: Bill Quistorf, Chief Pilot, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office,, 425-754-5489, Media line:  425-249-6263

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – How can search and rescue teams find lost or injured hikers at night?  The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) recently released a public service video illustrating one of the tools they use in the backcountry to locate people.

Snohomish County HRT, Search and Rescue, and other agencies are often tasked with locating lost or injured subjects at night.  The video provides the public with information on how to make themselves more visible to search aircraft if they find themselves in distress at night.

HRT aircrew members use night vision goggles (NVG’s) to help locate lost or injured subjects at night.  When a subject uses various light sources on the ground, such as a cell phone, headlamp, laser signal flare, infrared beacon, lighter or a small fire, it can greatly increase the likelihood of located. 

The video is recorded through NVG’s from the helicopter looking at the light sources from one mile away.