From: WYO4News.com Sweetwater County’s Online News Source
TOPICS:Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
JULY 9, 2015
Rock Springs — Sweetwater County deputies, Eden-Farson Fire Department emergency responders, and a search aircraft worked together to locate and rescue a South Carolina man and his son in a remote area in northern Sweetwater County Wednesday afternoon.
According to Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell, Richard Kendrick, 54, of Greenville, South Carolina, and his 19-year-old son, whose name was not available at press time, have been traveling through several western states on a two-week back country trip riding dual-sport motorcycles.
Tuesday found the pair in the Alkali Draw area about 45 miles northeast of Rock Springs, caught in the recent extreme rainstorm conditions. Heavy rain and mud made travel extremely difficult, and at one point Kendrick tipped his bike over and experienced serious pain in his left ankle.
Father and son spent the night at a road intersection and tried to ride out on Wednesday, but were unable to continue due to a combination of weather and road conditions and Kendrick’s injury. Kendrick made the decision to activate the Personal Locator Beacon, or PLB, that he was carrying.
A PLB is a global positioning system (GPS) device that, when activated in an emergency, begins transmitting a signal providing its carrier’s coordinates to authorities. In this instance, the signal was picked up by Holly King at the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Montgomery, Texas, at around 11:30 AM local time.
King immediately notified the Sweetwater Combined Communications Center in Green River, and Deputy Sheriffs Rich Kaumo and Trevor Kirkwood were dispatched to begin searching the Alkali Draw area for Kendrick and his son.
A private aircraft piloted by Darren Scheer, a firefighter with the Eden-Farson Fire Department, joined the search. Scheer spotted the Kendricks from the air at about 12:30 PM and directed the two deputies to them.
Despite travel over dozens of miles of rough, muddy roads, emergency responders Jim Barker, Veronica Ray, Ciara Hodges, Tom Burris, and Jenny Smith, all of the Eden-Farson Fire Department and Eden-Farson Ambulance Service, were unable to reach the scene in the agency’s ambulance and rescue truck. Kaumo and Kirkwood transported the Kendricks out about 10 miles and met the responders on the Bar X Road.
The responders examined Kendrick, who declined transport to Memorial Hospital in Rock Springs, and provided him with an ice pack. The Kendricks were then transported to Farson.
Lowell praised in particular the efforts and commitment of all the Eden-Farson first responders. “Once Darren Scheer spotted Kendricks and his son and despite the terrible ground conditions, the ground units made every effort to reach the scene. It’s a testament to their dedication and skill that they got as far as they did; they then coordinated with our deputies to meet up, examine Mr. Kendrick, and bring the two of them out to safety.”