Inside Track


UP Employee Assists in Mountain Rescue

Posted September 18, 2014 04:19 PM CDT

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UP employee Mike Tiglio with a hyrail vehicle.

Union Pacific employee Mike Tiglio recently helped rescue a 78-year-old Open Space and Mountain Parks volunteer in remote Boulder County, Colorado. The man was working on an eagle nest closure project when he started to experience medical issues.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Coal Canyon Fire Protection, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and Rocky Mountain Fire Department responded to an area on top of UP's Tunnel 6, west of Plainview, Colorado. UP has worked hard to build relationships with first responders, and as a result, they knew who to call. Phil Egan, director - track maintenance, called Tiglio, a 12-year UP track inspector. Tiglio immediately traveled to Plainsview, Colorado, and hyrailed paramedics and their equipment to a safe extraction point. With Tiglio's help, rescuers were able to lower the patient by rope to a gurney and into Tiglio's truck to be evacuated.

Boulder County officials thanked Tiglio and others for their roles in the rescue. "Mike was able to expedite the evacuation process by transporting medical and rescue personnel to Tunnel 6," said Sgt. David Booton, Boulder County Sheriff's Office Emergency Service. "It was comforting to know that Mike was able to advise us on train activity. He closed the track while the rescue occurred. That was a huge safety concern for the rescue personnel involved."

Tiglio's territory, which stretches from Denver to Winter Park, Colorado, is primarily mountainous terrain. Often, the only way in or out to rescue situations is by rail, and cell service sometimes is lacking. "We have to be alert and attentive to work safely," Tiglio said, "You have tracks on the side of the mountain, rocks that could potentially come down and changing weather conditions."

Because the area is remote, it is especially vital for railroad employees to do their part to help the public when they run into issues in the mountains. "That's my job," said Tiglio. "I work to promote public safety. Helping the public is one of my main responsibilities."