EL PASO COUNTY — A group of El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Deputies are being credited with saving the life of a severely injured hunter.
It happened on September 21, when EPSO Deputies Scott Brettell, Chad Wheat, Peter Gaffney (RET), and Lt. Eric Carnell were spending time at a hunting location in state.
Dep. Brettell was notified that a hunter, Mason Young of Arkansas, not far away, had accidentally injured himself with a knife – and it was serious.
Knowing they were in a position to respond faster than Search and Rescue, the deputies formed a response team – including two medically trained spouses, jumped on their ATVs, and rushed to the hunter’s approximate location.
The Sheriff’s Office reports the team navigated through about five square miles of the roughest terrain in Colorado until they were able to locate Young’s ATV.
Then the search began for Young himself and, unfortunately, it involved some guesswork.
The Sheriff’s Office says Deputies Brettell and Wheat put themselves in a hunter’s mindset and set off in a direction that felt right. It worked. The pair found Mason about a mile away.
The deputies’ spouses evaluated and tended to Mason’s injuries and, because temperatures were dropping, decided he needed to be moved.
They trekked back up through that rugged terrain to their ATVs, where Lt. Carnell met them with Search and Rescue.
The group was able to coordinate a plan to get Mason to the top of an 11,300 foot mountain – the only place where a helicopter could land – so he could receive the care he needed, from fully equipped medical personnel.
Mason and his family say they’re grateful for the lifesaving efforts he received.