A Hunter's Tale of Rescue and Survival

Rescue Profile: Todd Churchill

Case #: 3397



As he had done many autumn days before, Todd Churchill was hunting in Payette National Forest on horseback. Before leaving, Todd packed his SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™, a small action that would soon have a significant impact on his life.


On the way back to camp, Todd's horse unexpectedly threw him. The horse then landed on top of Todd and crushed his pelvis. Trapped due to immobilization miles from civilization and in severe pain, Todd activated SPOT's emergency alert.


Todd recalls, "My friends thought this was it. One of them had begun to give me my last rites."


The International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center (IERCC) received the S.O.S. alert and swept into action. IERCC confirmed relevant details and relayed the information to local authorities.

Shortly after, Todd's wife, Shelli, called IERCC in a frantic state because local authorities told her they would not send out assistance until the next morning. IERCC then reached out to a search and rescue team with a helicopter (equipped with night vision capabilities) to help locate Todd.


IRECC updated Shelli throughout the rescue process. A couple hours into the search, IERCC called Shelli and told her that Todd had been located and was being airlifted to a local hospital.


According to Todd and his family, he was hours from death when the emergency helicopter arrived. They do not think he would have survived without SPOT and IERCC.


Undeterred, Todd remains an active outdoorsman. He often shares his hunting safety tips. One piece of advice he always gives: "Get a SPOT and bring it with you."


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* El número de rescates de SPOT no incluye falsas alarmas, alertas duplicadas, alertas de prueba, alertas que terminen en fatalidades o alertas recibidas de equipos perdidos o robados.