Emergency Services

 Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Desolation and Gray Canyons

Should a member of your party have an injury which requires medical attention there are three means of transportation available to your party.
  1. When time is not a factor and the injury would not be further compounded by river travel, evacuation by raft is usually the best.
  2. When time becomes a factor with increasing severity of injury, vehicles or telephones can be reached at  the road that extends from the town of Green River to Nefertiti Rapid on the east side of the river. There is also limited cellular phone service available at the Swaseys take out. Occasionally private vehicles may be in the area.
  3. Should the injury be severe (life or death situation) and time is a definite factor, or when body movement during evacuation must be limited (i.e. severe head, neck, back, or long bone injuries) a helicopter should be considered. In most cases, the injured party will be billed for helicopter flight time.

Telephone numbers for emergencies and/or helicopter evacuations are:

All emergencies
Utah Highway Patrol Dispatch (UHP)
Eagle Air Med Helicopter (Price, Utah, Utah)
25 Minutes to Sand Wash
Emery County Sheriff (Green River, Utah)
Carbon County Sheriff (Price, Utah)
Air Med Helicopter (Salt Lake City, Utah)
45 minutes to Sand Wash
Intermountain Life Flight (Murray, Utah)
45 minutes to Sand Wash
St. Mary’s Air Life Helicopter (Grand Junction)
45 minutes to Sand Wash
800-332-4923 (602-778-5362)
Bureau of Land Management Dispatch (Moab)
Bureau of Land Management: Non-emergency (Price)
When possible call 911 or the local sheriff’s or UHP first as they are equipped to handle emergencies quickly and efficiently. They have GPS capabilities to locate you in the event the call is dropped. If you feel you are qualified to call for a helicopter then please choose one of the three helicopter companies based on your location in the canyon. Grand Junction is closer to the lower half of the canyon, while Salt Lake is closer to the upper half of the canyon. The Price (Eagle Air Med) is the closest and they have the capabilities to fly to either Provo or Salt Lake Hospitals.
Helicopter Landing Zone:
When possible a large, flat area should be chosen for the helicopter to land. The area should be marked with bright colored material forming a box 100 x 100 feet to help spot your location from the air.

1. Call Helicopter through appropriate agency with the following information:

LOCATION: LAT/LONG coordinates UTM, prominent features, River Mile

COMMUNICATION: Call back number, Radio Frequency (Statewide, etc.) and Call sign of LZ (Landing Zone) Command. Designate only one person to coordinate, set up and communicate

WEATHER: Low Ceilings, Poor Visibility, Icing, High Wind

PATIENT STATUS: Number, Condition, Age, Mechanism, Hazards

LANDING ZONE: The Preferred Landing Zone is: 100 feet by 100 feet

2. SETUP LANDING ZONE as follows.

SIZE: 100 feet by 100 feet. (MINIMUM FOR THE BH430 IS 100' X 80' MINIMUM FOR 407/206 IS 80' X 80')

LEVEL: Select a landing area as level as possible (minimal slope)

LANDING SURFACE: Hard surface, Grassy, hard packed snow,) (AVOID LOOSE DIRT, DUST, POWDER SNOW)

CLEAR AREA: Area is clear of debris, large rocks, posts, stumps, vehicles, people, animals, and other hazards.

MARK AREA: Clearly marked using five weighted cones, flares, or beacons: one at each corner of the LZ, and one on the side that the wind is coming from. (Smoke is helpful if remote)