On Wednesday, May 11th, at approximately 12pm the Bates County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Bates County Hospital in reference to searching for a 77-year-old male who had fallen and injured himself while mushroom hunting.
The hospital only knew that the subject was in the area of CR8002, FF Highway and F Highway. Deputies responded to assist and quickly determined that additional resources were needed. Additional on duty deputies and administrative staff were sent to assist.
The area to search was over 400 acres. Butler Fire Department was toned out and responded with multiple staff members, fire trucks and their gator search and rescue vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Posse was activated to respond with search and rescue 4 wheelers along with the mounted posse. The Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers responded to help along with a request of the Highway Patrol Airplane.
It was quickly determined that 4 wheelers and UTVs weren’t the only resources that were going to be needed as many of the areas had heavy timber. Additional Deputies responded with aerial drones and the county owned search and rescue horses. The drones were able to locate the missing subject’s truck and search efforts began to try and backtrack his steps.
Bates County Deputy Hughes and Detective Stockdale saddled up Hank and Stetson and began working the tree area in the area of the truck. At approximately 3pm, the Deputies mounted on horseback were able to locate the subject in a heavy treed area that was not accessible to 4 wheelers and UTVs.
Deputies were able to guide additional rescuers and EMS into the location of the injured subject. Butler Fire arrived with their rescue gator and was able to secure the subject on a backboard and transport him to an awaiting ambulance. The male was transported to the Bates County Hospital for treatment.
This was a tremendous effort on all first responders’ part. Members of the Butler Fire Department, Bates County EMS, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Bates County Hospital Dispatch, Bates County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Bates County Sheriff’s Posse and the Bates County Sheriff’s Office worked together to ensure as a team that we were able to successfully find this subject and get him the help he needed.
Sheriff Anderson said, “I am so impressed with the work and collaboration that first responders have in Bates County. We came together as one today to get the job done. The Citizens should be proud of the men and women of our first responders’.
When asked about the performance of the mounted patrol today Sheriff Anderson said, “This program is less than a year old. We are still perfecting the program as this program was only fully funded in January of this year. So far, we have had mostly positive feedback from the community but there are certain people who are against the program. This is the second time we have deployed horses, (county owned and volunteer) for the purpose of search and rescue. Outcomes like today, prove to me that the program has a place with us and is an asset to our community.
Today the horseback riders played a pivotal role in saving a life, and for that it’s worth every dollar we have spent. I think our gentleman and his family from today would agree.”
Special Thank You’s to Greg Mullinax and Chase Anderson for helping get the horses on scene rapidly.