by Bob Freund

CMRU's roots can be traced to the Oregon State College Mountain Club which developed a Rescue section in the 1950s. In these early days, the rescue section was mainly college students and faculty who enjoyed climbing.

During the 1960s this group became known as the Corvallis Unit of the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council of Oregon (MORESCO), and was one of the original units forming the national Mountain Rescue Association. The Corvallis Unit, like MORESCO itself, became dormant in the early 1970s. The growth of many, varied SAR groups during this period led to a decrease in missions for Oregon mountain rescue teams.

With ORS 401.560 placing legal responsibility for search and rescue (SAR) activities on the county sheriff, there was an increased desire that a properly equipped, highly trained, technical evacuation team be available in Benton County. The Corvallis Unit was reorganized in 1975 and called itself Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit. Since its reorganization, CMRU has been a valuable SAR asset - both in the classroom and In the field.

In 1987 CMRU was instrumental in forming the Oregon Mountain Rescue Council - the unified voice of all Oregon mountain rescue teams. In 1993 CMRU became a charter member of the Benton County SAR Council (BCSAR), and continues to participate actively in the Council.

CMRU is currently accredited by the Mountain Rescue Association in the areas of High Angle Rock Evacuation, Wilderness Search, and Snow and Ice Evacuation. CMRU was reaccredited in April, 2005 through OMRC.



CMRU often recognizes their own members for service as a volunteer team member. Below are recent recognitions:
  • 2016: Joe McCormick
  • 2015: Tyler Deboodt
  • 2014: Todd Shechter
  • 2013: Tim Hale
  • 2012: Nate Meehan
  • 2011: Jonathan Hoy
  • 2010: Jerry Heilman
  • 2009: Bob Freund
  • 2008: Jim Dagata
  • 2007: Todd Shechter
  • 2006: Mike Bamberger, Benton County Emergency Manager
  • 2005: Matt Crawford
  • 2004: Joy Linn, first awardee


1975: John Wells 1976: John Wells 1977: John Wells
1978: Jerry Gates 1979: John Wells 1980: Ralph Moore
1981: Steve Beecroft 1982: Steve Beecroft 1983: Mitch Lyle
1984: Michael Augden 1985: Bill O'Brien 1986: (unknown)
1987: (unknown) 1988: Bill Ellison 1989: Bill Ellison
1990: Bob Freund 1991: Bob Freund 1992: Bob Freund
1993: Ken Rauscher 1994: Bob Freund 1995: Jon Sears
1996: Jon Sears 1997: Jon Sears 1998: Jon Sears
1999: Jon Sears 2000: Bob Freund 2001: Bob Freund
2002: Joy Linn 2003: Joy Linn 2004: Joy Linn
2005: Jim Dagata 2006: Jim Dagata 2007: Jim Dagata
2008: Matt Crawford 2009-current: Todd Shechter