RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - On February 7, Austin Hall was back country snowboarding with his brother near Incline Peak in the Mt. Rose wilderness. He and his brother went down a steep chute. Hall said his board snagged but he kept on going, like a lawn dart. He landed head first in the snow. Hall said his shoulder was in a lot of pain and that's when he decided it was time to call 911 for help.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office HASTY Team responded to the call. Hall said he was initially worried about the cost of being rescued via helicopter, but was reassured by rescuers.
"He says don't worry, this is probably what a lot of people are thinking when a helicopter is coming to get you, but he said don't worry it's out of the kindness of our hearts," Hall said. "We're Washoe County Search and Rescue so I'm super grateful about that."
HASTY Team members Robert Marshall and Bron Lee hoisted down to get Hall. The team used what's called a 'Screamer Suit' to secure Hall.
"We'll apply this to anyone we decide to hoist so it's a big robe and then all this comes together and it's called a screamer suit because a lot of people scream when they get picked up on it," Marshall said.
Hall was then clipped to Lee and the two were hoisted back up to the helicopter.
"He complained of shoulder pain and was pretty cold from sitting around for a long time so we hooked him up and got him to medical," Lee said.
Hall is still on the mend from his injury but said he couldn't be more thankful for everyone who saved him.
"I'm super grateful that this program exists and that if people are in trouble they can be rescued without worrying," Hall said.
Rescuers said what helped make this rescue a successful one was that Hall did not hesitate to call for help. Marshall and Lee said the best thing you can do in any situation is to call for help immediately.
The HASTY Team is hosting an open house on Saturday, February 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for anyone interested in becoming part of the team. They will also be doing a demonstration. The event will be at the Regional Public Safety Training Center, rm. 103, 5190 Spectrum Boulevard, Reno.
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