Q. What is the Search and Rescue Team?
A. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) Team is responsible for managing and coordinating search and rescue missions who are lost, stranded or injured in Clackamas County. The SAR team responds to calls in both the wilderness and the urban settings, and also provides assistance to neighboring cities and counties when needed.
Q. How many rescues does the Search and Rescue Team make each year?
A. Since 2007, the SAR team has responded to an average of 96 missions a year. However since 2013 that average has dropped to about 70 missions each year which we equate to people being better prepared and because of new safer technologies such as SPOT devices and Delorme InReach units.
Q. Do they handle rescue operations on Mt. Hood?
A. Yes -- but while those operations are the ones that attract the most attention, the Search and Rescue Team responds to a variety of situations in a number of different environments.
Q. How big is the Search and Rescue Team?
A. In Clackamas County we do not have a single full time employed Search and Rescue Coordinator. Being part of the Search and Rescue Team is a collateral duty for everyone on the team. To that end the team consists of 10 Deputies, 2 Sergeants and 1 Lieutenant.
Q. What are the duties of Search and Rescue Deputies?
A. All SAR Coordinators are permanently assigned to other full-time duties, but are subject to 24-hour call out for search missions. Each Deputy on the team has passed the Oregon State Certification Standards and has received their certification from the OSSA (Oregon State Sheriff's Association).
Q. How vital are citizen volunteer groups to the success of search and rescue mission in Clackamas County?
A. Volunteers are absolutely critical to the success of our SAR missions in Clackamas County. Without the use of citizen volunteers, search and rescue would not be possible. These volunteers have also passed the Oregon State Certification Standards and continue to train with their organizations throughout the year to maintain their certifications and remain proficient in their skills.
We use a number of search and rescue volunteer organizations in Clackamas County including:
- Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue (PNW)
- Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR)
- North Oregon Regional Search and Rescue (NORSAR)
- Mountain Wave Emergency Communications
- Sheriff's Posse
We also use military resources including: