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Rescue teams aid ailing Missoula snowmobiler

Rescue teams aid ailing Missoula snowmobiler

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A Life Flight helicopter rescued a Missoula man who suffered chest pains while snowmobiling in the Lolo National Forest Sunday afternoon.

A search and rescue volunteer injured his hip during the rescue.

Ronald Hay, 49, was touring an area west of Black Mountain along Highway 200 when he and three friends got their machines stuck in the snow. Hay freed his snowmobile and headed back down the mountain toward a trailhead and got stuck again, according to Bob Parcell, assistant Missoula County search and rescue coordinator and Condon deputy sheriff.

Hay felt chest pains while trying to free his machine and called 9-1-1 on his cell phone, Parcell said.

Two rescue teams, one from Missoula and one from Seeley Lake, responded to the call.

Life Flight also responded, and even though high winds and blowing snow made landing questionable, the helicopter was able to set down about a mile from Hay, Parcell said.

The Life Flight crew hiked to Hay's location, administered first aid and found a closer spot for the helicopter to land, Parcell said.

Hay was taken to St. Patrick Hospital. He was treated and released, said Harriet Raymond, a hospital supervisor.

During the rescue, Joe Anders, a volunteer member of the Missoula County Search and Rescue Association, rolled his snowmobile and injured his hip, Parcell said.

He was transported to St. Pat's by ambulance. Anders is in stable condition, Raymond said.

The three other snowmobilers made it to their vehicles safely, Parcell said. The entire rescue took about four hours, he said.

Betsy Cohen, Missoulian

Monday - 12/28/98
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