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Deschutes SO SAR volunteers put to the test on mock mission


Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel play a vital role in Central Oregon.

The team relies heavily on volunteers, and more than 50 of them participated Saturday in a mock mission involving the search for a lost father and daughter.

The team covered over 1,000 acres, looking for clues as to where they could be.

“We have to adapt and the teams have to adapt to find them,” said sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Husband.

Husband said rescues happen year-round, in every type of weather condition.

Communication between the searchers and command post is highly critical at finding those lost hikers.

“In terms of both searcher safety as well as coordination, there’s a lot of moving pieces,” said volunteer Trent Volz. “And to be able to coordinate and to call back in clues and get new direction is crucial, and we rely on technology for that.”

Over the weekend, search and rescue volunteers didn’t only train, but also rescued a Portland woman on Saturday who slipped and was injured on a trail at Smith Rock.

Two deputies, one from SAR, also deployed Sunday to rescue three Bend residents whose two vehicles became stuck in deep snow on a Forest Service road west of Bend.

The SAR team says it evaluates every scenario before heading out to the scene.

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