Deschutes County Search and Rescue Foundation

Posted on in category Travel & Adventure

Local Non-Profit Profile – Deschutes County Search and Rescue (DCSAR).

We don’t often think about what happens if our outdoor adventure encounters problems. DCSAR is most often the people who are there to help everyone in any situation. DCSAR is made up of caring volunteers who give countless hours of training and responding to incidents each year. Did ya know that DCSAR will respond to over 130 missions each year. This organization is vital to our outdoor community. Check out the DCSAR website to see the complex teams and expertise that is waiting to respond to all of us. DCSAR WEBSITE.

DCSAR is made up of 120 or so volunteers who will wake up at all hours of the night and spend countless hours trying to get you back to safety. The average volunteer put in about 200 hours of volunteer time last year. A moderately active volunteer will put in about 200 to 400 hours. If you are active outdoors learn more about DCSAR. Consider a donation or volunteering. Make a difference in our community.

Deschutes County Search and RescueUnder Oregon law, the sheriff of each Oregon county has a mandate to provide some aspect of Search and Rescue (SAR) activities within their county. Each sheriff decides what level that response might be. Smaller counties may have less potential for calls and thereby fewer resources, while larger, more active counties generally have more missions and resources to respond accordingly.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s SAR mission is to provide professional, high-quality search and rescue assistance to citizens of Deschutes County, visitors who recreate locally, and mutual aid to other counties as requested. The ability to save a life or effect a successful rescue is often dependent upon how quickly the person can be found or reached.

The unit consists of general volunteers and a number of specialty teams, including swift water rescue, mountain rescue, winter search, medical evacuation, water operations and canine search. Additional teams include Incident Management, Air Operations, tracking and an internal horse team, separate from Posse assets. All members are trained in Wilderness First Responder as a minimum; other volunteers are EMT-certified, including Paramedic. Those medical team members operate under the direction of a Physician Adviser from St. Charles Medical Center-Bend.

The 10 Essentials for Survival

  • NAVIGATION: A USGS or equal topo map, a properly declinated (16 degrees locally) base plate compass, along with the knowledge of how to use them together. A simple GPS can also be quite useful as long as you’re familiar with how to use it and the batteries aren’t dead. A watch and cell phone should also be carried.

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    SUN PROTECTION: Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat (for hot OR cold, summer or winter weather)

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    INSULATION: The MOST important consideration: NO cotton clothing! Carry synthetic or wool layers, waterproof/windproof rain jacket/ pants; extra gloves/hat, and extra socks as required. Wear layers of clothing to adjust insulation to activity level and current weather. Stay dry to decrease the risk of hypothermia (which can be life-threatening).

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    ILLUMINATION: Headlamp or flashlight, with extra batteries.

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    FIRST-AID SUPPLIES: Basic supplies such as Band-aids, gauze pads, triangular and compression bandages, etc. Include any medications you may currently be taking and a bee sting kit if you are allergic.

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    FIRE: Waterproof matches, butane lighter or candle stubs, plus fire-starting materials (paste, etc.). Do NOT depend on making a fire in bad weather!

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    REPAIR KIT/TOOLS: Multi-tool (Gerber®, Leatherman®, Swiss Army knife, etc.), Duct tape. Don’t carry what you don’t need.

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    NUTRITION: High energy, no-cook foods, such as high-carb energy bars. Carry at least 200 calories for every hour you will be out.

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    HYDRATION: Extra water; take at least (1) liter for short outings and at least 2.5 liters for all-day excursions. Remember that extra water will be needed for hot or cold weather, drink continuously during your outing. Don’t wait until you are dehydrated!

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    EMERGENCY SHELTER: A Space blanket or bright plastic tarp (9’ x 12’) and a few large plastic trash bags. Bring something to insulate you from the ground, regardless of the time of year. You cannot dig a snow cave without a shovel, and you should not sit/sleep on snow without an insulating pad.