SAR teams aid injured hikers


Last updated 9/6/2022 at Noon

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) teams aided injured hikers in a couple of separate incidents in Sisters Country last week.

On Saturday, September 3, at 11:51 a.m., 911 Dispatch received a call regarding an injured hiker near Chush Falls on Whychus Creek. The reporting person advised that a female hiker had fallen and sustained a knee injury, preventing her from being able to hike back to the trailhead on her own; she would need assistance from DCSO SAR.

Eleven SAR volunteers responded to assist the injured hiker. Personnel reached the trailhead at approximately 1:10 p.m. and walked approximately 2.3 miles to the patient, arriving at approximately 2:05 p.m.

A medical assessment was done and the DCSO SAR volunteers placed the injured hiker into a wheeled litter and wheeled her back to the trailhead. The injured hiker was transported to the hospital by medics for further medical treatment.

Rescuers were back at Chush Falls on Sunday, aiding a 52-year-old Bend man who experienced a medical problem while hiking.

Dispatch received a call on the incident September 4, at 2:01 p.m. The reporting person advised he was approximately five miles in on the trail at the upper falls and was having a medical issue. The hiker advised 911 he was unsure if he was going to be able to make it back to his vehicle without assistance.

Two ATV deputies and one Special Services deputy were initially dispatched to the call. The ATV deputies responded directly to the trailhead and began to hike to the patient. At the time of the call, two Deschutes County SAR volunteers happened to be working, and the caller/patient was conferenced in with the Special Services Deputy and one volunteer with Advanced Life Support (ALS) certifications.

The volunteer was able to complete a medical assessment over the phone. Afterward, 15 volunteers responded with a wheeled litter and medical equipment to the trailhead.

The ATV deputies were able to make contact with the patient at 3:10 p.m. and the SAR medical team made contact with him at 3:35 p.m. After medical assessment the patient walked to the trailhead while being escorted by the volunteers, where he was released to the care of family members.

Volunteers also assisted a lost hiker on the South Sister.

On Tuesday, August 30, at about 1 a.m. Deschutes County 911 received a request from a Lane County Sheriff’s Office SAR coordinator for assistance in locating two lost hikers from Minnesota who were about a half-mile west of the South Sister Climber’s Trail in Lane County. Earlier in the evening, the two hikers called in saying they were lost. Both a Lane County and Deschutes County SAR coordinator assisted the hikers via phone in locating the Climbers Trail, and the hikers informed them they were headed back down to the trailhead.

During the following few hours, they lost the trail again, which prompted the phone call to dispatch in the early morning hours. It was also reported a woman had slid approximately 30 feet down a slope and had injured her knee. Deschutes County 911 was able to ping the female’s cell phone, which confirmed they were still west of the trail.

One Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy, along with eight DCSO SAR volunteers, responded to the call. An initial hasty team consisting of three DCSO SAR members headed to the subjects’ location. An additional team of four SAR members — along with three members of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office SAR — headed up the trail with a wheeled litter in the event the woman was unable to walk out on her own.

The hasty team was able to get a visual on the hikers at 6:45 a.m., but due to the terrain not able to reach them until 7:30 a.m. They conducted an assessment of the woman’s injuries and determined she was able to walk on her own. The SAR teams escorted both hikers back down the trail, reaching the trailhead at 11:50 a.m. The hikers did not need any additional medical attention.


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