PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -A Thanksgiving vacation took a scary turn for one Chicago family, luckily the volunteer search rescue team with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) said they made the right choice by calling them when things started to go south.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team's leader, Reese Irwin, said last Wednesday, Nov. 22, was a nice 70-degree day until the family of five reached 11,000 ft. where they were met with snow and ice, realizing they had no waterproof clothes.
Irwin told KRDO13 that the family became cold and wet and unsure of what to do next, that's when they called for help around mid-afternoon that day.
The rescue took nearly seven hours, and it started with members of the search and rescue team getting airlifted by flight for life to a peak, where they met up with the family. As the sun set, the volunteer search and rescue team hiked with the family down the mountain.
"We did want to commend them for what they were carrying. They helped keep them alive, being able to start that fire and stay warm until we got there but really it was just not having an extensive amount of waterproof clothing or dry clothing to change into to hike themselves out," said Irwin.
The family was met by emergency vehicles at the bottom and other concerned members of their family who hadn't joined them on the hike.
The volunteer search and rescue team said they don't get a lot of calls like this one but are urging people to always be prepared out on hikes especially as colder weather sets in.