On September 18, 2010, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office was involved in the rescue of a Boy Scout Troop during a Scout sponsored high ground signaling event. The troop was comprised of two adult leaders and six kids under the age of 15 all from the Phoenix area. In this particular scenario, organized by Arizona Varsity Scout Troops, Scout teams from all over the State climb peaks in various locations and signal to each other with mirrors. Additional information from their press release states, "It's a symbolic statement to the world that they're on top of things, both in Scouting and in life. This is an art that was used by the US military especially in Arizona and New Mexico in the late 1800s."
At approximately 3:15 PM, YCSO received a call from a Prescott resident who had just been notified of the lost troop via ham radio. The caller indicated a troop leader was using a ham radio to communicate and reported one of the boys was getting sick and the group was running out of water. Fortunately, the troop leader was able to establish and relay GPS coordinates. It was determined the group was located in the Pine Mountain Wilderness off the Bishop Creek Trail. This area is located between the Prescott and Tonto National Forest.
A Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter crew was notified but had a delayed response due to a search mission already in progress outside of Yavapai County. Forest Patrol Deputies maintained contact with the troop and directed them to remain stationary pending helicopter arrival.
Just before 6 PM, a DPS Ranger helicopter arrived and located the troop. The troop's signal mirrors, which were spotted about 5 miles out, aided the DPS crew in finding the lost troop. Over the next hour or so, DPS personnel were able to fly the group out in segments to safety. All were in good condition and no one required hospitalization.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at (928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov