Eastern Oregon Search and Rescue to hold annual training at Salt Creek Summit June 25-27.
If you’re taking the USFS 39 Road to Halfway or Hells Canyon this weekend, expect some possible delays, along with ATV’s, pickups, people, and maybe even extra help if you get into trouble. Search and Rescue (SAR) units from across Eastern Oregon will hold their annual training exercise in the Salt Creek Summit area this weekend, June 25-27.
“This training is a huge value to all of our volunteers to be able to network and train with multiple agencies from NE Oregon,” said Wallowa County SAR Captain Brent Neely. “
Participating counties frequently call on each other for mutual aid for specialized rescues or extended searches and having experience training with each other’s teams is invaluable.”
There may be significant traffic and UTV/ATV congestion in and around the Salt Creek Summit parking area during this time frame. The parking lot will be open to the public but parking may be limited due to the volume of SAR equipment and tents staged there.
About 100 Search and Rescue volunteers from ten Eastern Oregon counties (Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Union, Umatilla, and Wallowa and Wheeler) are expected to take part in the exercises. Most will be camping in the Salt Creek Summit area, near where most of the training will take place. Wallowa County Search and Rescue volunteers are hosting the event.
The training includes work in fast tracking, responding to a swiftwater (water rescue) emergency, advanced incident command, land searches, K-9 land searches, civil air patrol searches, and searching using a drone.
“If you plan to recreate or travel in this area, please be aware of this training,” said WCSAR event coordinator Paige Sully. “However serious it may appear, we are not engaged in an actual search and rescue incident response.”
The Wallowa County SAR volunteers have developed the training exercises that also include equine packing and rescue.
“There are thousands of volunteer hours that go into planning and training at this event,” Neely said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the SAR members for the personal time, energy, and money they donate to make our Northeast Oregon SAR teams the best they can be.”