August 2022

2024 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team (OMRT). Staffed entirely by volunteers, OMRT is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Given the unique terrain of Ouray County and surrounding communities, the OMRT is skilled in technical rope rescue, emergency medicine, avalanche, swift water rescue, tracking, search management and communications. Even before the COVID-19 Pandemic and the onslaught of people recreating on public land, the OMRT responded to a record number of rescue calls. Over the past few years, the number of rescues has doubled from the teens to a high of 31 in 2018.
OMRT operates out of a rescue barn that was built in 2005. While the building is functional, the ever-increasing number of calls highlighted the inadequacies of the facility, especially when it needed to function as a command center for overnight and multi-day operations. Our regional Community Foundation is pleased to support this renovation project. Once the upgrades are complete, the rescue barn will have a functioning kitchen that will support late-night operations, day-long training and out-of-town rescues; a working bathroom with shower facilities; refurbished floors and an upgraded HVAC system.
In May of this year, OMRT was nationally recognized by The American Alpine Club for a 2021 rescue on Mt Sneffels that required rescuers to overnight near the summit. Volunteers braved torrential downpours, hail, and lightning. They were met by a Colorado National Guard helicopter the next morning that flew an injured hiker to St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Junction. A hearty CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to the courageous and dedicated volunteers in Ouray County!

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