[SEE BELOW: Extended interview with Lane County Search and Rescue Coordinator Tim Chase]
As snow began to pile up on Sunday night, calls to Lane County Search and Rescue came from stranded motorists. Since then, hundreds of trained volunteers have been mobilized to help with welfare checks and full-fledged rescue missions.
Tim Chase is Search and Rescue Coordinator for Lane County Sheriff’s Office. He says the majority of calls were in outlying areas like Oakridge, Lowell and the McKenzie River valley.
Over 200 volunteers have the training and personal fitness to work on a SAR team. Chase says they had several calls for which miles of hiking was required to get to a person and *carry them out for medical issues.
“The priority calls are the life safety calls. We still have those come in,” says Chase. “We’ve had over 10 official Search and Rescue missions during this event.”
Chase says no storm related fatalities have been reported. In the last four days, Search and Rescue has logged over 400 work hours and over a thousand miles of travel. Teams include medical staff from EMTs to MDs volunteering their time. He says people can help by checking in on neighbors and just staying safe.