April, 2005

by Bob Freund

On Saturday, April 23rd, the Unit was evaluated in the Rock and Snow environments by other teams of the Oregon Mountain Rescue Council. For many, the trip to Steelhead Falls for the Rock Module began on Friday, but for those who traveled Saturday morning it was a long day. We staged at the parking area as the rain began to fall in earnest. By the time our problem began (almost an hour late) it was pouring. (Well, as has been said many times before: If it’s raining, we’re probably Training!) Deschutes Co. SAR created the Rock Module which involved two climbers on a rock face who needed evacuation. One climber had a dislocated shoulder (which was self-reduced) and was “picked-off” while the other had a pelvic fracture and fractured lower leg (a litter case). With the rain slick rock and evaluators being encouraged to ask questions of the team members being evaluated, the Rock problem took just over three hours to complete. Iain did an excellent job leading the team and we worked well together. Sure, there is always room for improvement – and we will run the same scenario again the next time we practice at Steelhead Falls – but overall it went well. We were complimented on our attention to rescuer safety. We passed.

Some of the soaking wet team:
Nate, Jason K., Matt, Aaron, Casey and Jim D.

Gearing up: Matt's back, Bob, Jason W. (almost hidden),
Iain, Jon (near bin), Nate (yellow gators) and Aaron

Rigging the raising and lowering system

Preparing the litter

Iain discusses the next step with Jon
as evaluators listen in

Assessing the situation

Packaging the patient

We took the show on the road to Hoodoo where, in spite of minimal snow cover, EMR had created an avalanche with lost and buried victims. Considering the lack of snow, it was amazing what they created. And it even involved a “conditioning hike” over halfway up the mountain! (How thoughtful of them – just for us? Really, you shouldn’t have.) The problem started just before 4pm and wound up with everyone back to the parking lot within two hours. Again, Iain led a hasty team of five followed by a main team of seven. There was a team of two left at the truck “just in case.” Well, sure enough, we had neglected to bring a “few” things that were needed so they got to come out and play too. The rain of earlier in the morning ceased by the time we arrived at Hoodoo and the snow problem was conducted in cloudy, foggy conditions, but we’ll take that any day compared to the pouring rain. We passed.

The Search Module was postponed for another day – for various reasons.

Hauling gear to the subject

Lowering, from aways up the slope

Jim W. and Anne provided logistics and radio support from the truck

The Team (from left front):
Anne, Bob, Jeremy, Jim D., Jon,
Bonnie, Lindsay, Jason K., Jason W.,
Nate, Dusty, Aaron, Matt, Jim W., Casey, Todd, Iain, and Jerry

Photos by Lindsay Clunes