Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons debriefs community about office’s winter operations |

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons debriefs community about office’s winter operations

During a community forum Monday, Dec. 13, Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons reviewed his office’s protocols for regular winter operations, including how it handles accident alerts along major roadways, what happens in the event of an extended road closure and some of the latest technology used to assist in avalanche rescues.

A news release about the event reported that accident alerts are “implemented during times when Colorado State Patrol troopers are unable to respond to large volumes of motor vehicle accidents due to severe weather conditions.” When this happens, the Sheriff’s Office responds to accidents if drugs and alcohol are suspected to be involved or if there is an injury or death.

In the event of an extended road closure, the Sheriff’s Office and Red Cross will provide shelters for stranded travelers. In the past, the Silverthorne Recreation Center and Summit Middle School, as well as local hotels, have been used to house travelers. For those traveling with animals, the Summit County Animal Shelter has also been used to provide temporary shelter for pets.

This season is also when the Sheriff’s Office oversees search and rescue services in the event of an avalanche. This year, the office is using drones, some of which have infrared capabilities, to assist in backcountry searches. In addition, the office works with local ski areas to review procedures in the event of a death on the mountain.

For more information about the Sheriff’s Office’s winter operations, visit

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