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  • Monica Dunn

Philmont Scout Ranch crews render aid after their Amtrak train derailed in Missouri

Philmont Crews 619-7D 1 and 2 departed Philmont Scout Ranch on Sunday, June 26th after a 7-day trek to return home on the Amtrak train out of Raton, New Mexico. Both crews are from Appleton, Wisconsin, and include 16 youth and 8 adults from Boy Scout Troops 12 and 73.

The crew’s Amtrak train, Southwest Chief 4, was traveling eastbound, from Los Angeles to Chicago, when it derailed Monday afternoon after striking a dump truck in Mendon, Missouri.

"In true scouting fashion, the scouts rendered aid to their fellow passengers before they worried about anything for themselves," said Scott Armstrong, Director of National Media Relations for the Boy Scouts of America.

One of the scouts located the driver of the dump truck who had been ejected and was lying in a nearby ditch. He provided first aid and comfort before the driver died from his injuries.

Reports show in the immediate aftermath of the derailing, the two crews broke windows and helped pull people out. They also used their advanced first-aid training to help injured passengers before first responders arrived.

Crews 619-7D-01 and 02 takes a group photo in front of the Tooth of Time at the start of their trek at Philmont Scout Ranch on June 19, 2022. (Emily Schmidt / Philmont Scout Ranch)

First responders transported two of the adult crew advisors to the hospital for medical attention with what Armstrong described as non-life-threatening injuries. These injuries included broken bones, ribs and a punctured lung. Along with the two adults, two scouts also went to the hospital.

Troop 73 Scoutmaster Dan Skrypczak said six scouts and four adult leaders from the two troops stayed back to help the situation.

“They helped other people, other individuals from the train on backboards to the ambulance,” Skrypczak said. “Almost all of them have earned the emergency preparedness merit badge and first-aid merit badge.”

In addition to those merit badges earned, Philmont requires two members of each crew to be certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Between these two crews, six members are certified.

“It’s impressive to see that our Scouts utilize the skills that prepare them for a Philmont Wilderness First Aid situation in an emergency crisis and response event,” said Roger Hoyt, General Manager of Philmont Scout Ranch. “No one wants to use these skills, but I’m sure glad the Scouts and leaders were there and prepared to act.”

The crews finished their 7-day trek on Saturday after hiking more than 30 rugged and challenging miles across Philmont’s backcountry while participating in programming such as horseback riding, blacksmithing, muzzle-loading rifle shooting, rock climbing and completing conservation projects.

“Philmont is proud of the heroic efforts of the scouts from Crews 619-7D 1 and 2,” Said Hoyt. “They exemplify the Scout Oath, Law and servant leadership through their actions.”

Scouts from Crew 619-7D-01 prepare to go horseback riding at Philmont Scout Ranch on June 22, 2022 in Cimarron, N.M. (Ryan Moore / Philmont Scout Ranch)

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