Hood River County is historically unique to Search and Rescue.
The tradition goes back to the 1920’s. It is one of the first organized Search and Rescue groups in the North West. Our staff and volunteers are highly motivated and well trained.
The Sheriff’s Office, Crag Rat team and our local fire departments have a great working relationship. We are a small group but very diverse in our abilities. In order to increase our abilities, we have added more capable watercraft, aerial platforms, communications, wilderness transportation and education. Some of our deputies have been certified through the Sheriff’s Association’s Search and Rescue Management School. This is an advanced education that is specific to the resources necessary, the resources available and operations in the rural environment. All of our deputies have been trained to use the Incident Command System, which is used on small-scaled incidents to very large-scale incidents.
We are one of the few law enforcement agencies in the lower United States to use Super Cubs, and our pilots are skilled in these types of aircraft, have many years of experience, and are local volunteers with backgrounds in fire service, law enforcement, aerial applications and commercial flying. Our program is funded by Title III funds that are paid by forestry receipts and not the Hood River County general fund.
Our planes are used in many different types of situations. Every year we locate many injured and missing climbers on Mt Hood and the surrounding areas. The PA18-150 planes are essential to these searches because they are able to go at lower speeds and lower altitudes to search. The aircraft also allows both the pilot and passenger to search from both sides of the plane. After these subject’s are located, the plane can provide important information to the responding units as to how to respond, their location, how to gain access to them and what will be needed.