Teens forever grateful to their rescuers



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Posted on August 15, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 21 at 2:43 PM

Video: Teens forever grateful to their rescuers

DARRINGTON, Wash. - You saw the pictures last week of a fogged-in Three Fingers Mountain and pictures of three grateful teenagers who were rescued from it.

But what you didn't see was how life-saving bonds formed among the teens and their rescuers.

The three teens were out for a fun hike and ended up stuck on Three Fingers Mountain. The fog, the cold and the rain trapped them at around 7,000 feet.

They called 911 and that call established a life-line all the way to Everett where 911 supervisor Carolyn Baer of the Snohomish County Communications Center took the call.

"Basically they needed help, they needed Search & Rescue," she said.

Baer launched the search and began some long-distance first aid.

"I really wanted to go to sleep. I was tired and cold," said Shayne Helm, one of the rescued hikers.

"With hypothermia you have to stay awake. If they slip into sleep, they are going to go unconscious, their body temperature will not stay up," she said. "I gave them some basics on how to keep each other warm."

"I realize now that going to sleep was a very bad idea and she helped me stay awake which was good," said Shayne. "She said to continue calling her every once in a while, turn my phone off when I'm not using it."

Preserving the battery made it possible for the teens to describe where they were.

"When they described where they were at, we were pretty sure we knew where they were," said Tim Dehnhoff, Snohomish County Search & Rescue.

But as volunteer Search & Rescue teams set out, they knew this wouldn't be easy.

"And it was a lot of work. That trail is awful," he said.

The weather was deteriorating and Baer sensed the boys were losing hope.

"I told him Grandma sent her love, just anything with family, she said.

"She kind of gave me a will to continue on, said a few things about my family, just made me really want to see those people again," said Shayne.

The boys stayed awake The lines of communication stayed open, and the rescuers stayed at it.

None of the happy scenes that followed would have been possible without the life-saving bond born on Three Fingers Mountain.