Search and Rescue in the State of Oregon


Ethan said the hardest part was carrying the ‘stoke’ from the river a mile away with 32 stone filling it. A ‘stoke’ is a gurney used to carry lost and wounded people back to safety and help when they are found. The look of pride on his face told us more than his words.

We were very proud.
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I am very proud to have been called a “Public Servant”. Why? Because I know the other, non-media side of the story. My husband and I were reminded once again of why we did what we did. Yesterday my 14 year old grandson finished his training to become, like the rest of his family, a public servant. We are a family of teachers, school administrators, police officers, criminalists, paramedics and emergency managers for Home Land Security. We are the descendants of a school board chairman, and tireless and generous church workers. First generation immigrants, prairie crossers, miners, and railroad builders. We are the stock that is close enough to nothing that we appreciate the service that others do and have chosen to work for the greater good of others.

My grandson Ethan and his dad, Doug, are now both search and rescue volunteers here in western Oregon. Doug, our Deputy Sheriff/Emergency Management employee, is the one of the leaders of the Washington County Emergency Management Explorer Search and Rescue team. Under his direction, we feel confident that Ethan’s training will continue. Ethan just spent 12 days training for the task ahead of him. The camp was in a remote camp run by Linn County Emergency Management Search and Rescue team. We traveled from our home here in Hillsboro for 1 1/2 hours to reach the location.

We sat in the sun on lawn chairs and watched as these young people, ages 14-18, took their oath to serve the State of Oregon and the Constitution of the United States. He of one of 100 that applied, one of 36 who started the training and one of the 29 that completed the training process. We are very proud of him. He will work to find lost people, comb crime scenes for evidence, and serve the public at events in our area in Washington County and Multnomah County if the need arises. Did I mention that Ethan is 14.

So when you send your children to school, my daughter-in-law will teach them. If they are troubled, a school administrator like my husband or our son will guide you to a solution. When you are injured or sick, our paramedic son and his wife will come to help you. When you get lost, my grandson and his father will come and help find you, when you are the victim of a crime my daughter, the crime lab superviser, will help solve the crime. When the tornado strikes our emergency response team son-in-law will come to assist you and make you comfortable.

Now let me tell you I don’t know how this family came to this place. I am the only child of an electrician and a home maker. My husband and I did not set out to raise a family like this and I don’t think we are remarkable parents; not any more than our friends. But I will say that I am very, very grateful for all our blessings. I guess that all we have ever needed is your support as do all “public workers” and we thank you for that.

So my hat is off to Ethan and the young people both boys and girls that worked so hard at the Search and Rescue Camp. Congratulations.

Have a wonderful day.

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*NOTE: I guess I feel the need to defend what our family has chosen to do because we come under assault from the very people that we choose to serve. These are jobs we are educated to work at and are paid to do. I just want everyone to understand that the bureaucrat that helps you at the water office or the police department does that job for you. And, even though you hate to admit it, without them serving you, your world would come crashing down. Please, above all else, remember these people are Public Servants and not personal servants and they are guided by a myriad of laws, rules and regulation, not all of which make them any happier than you!!!

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One thought on “Search and Rescue in the State of Oregon

  1. Congratulations to Ethan! What an outstanding young man to be so young, but be so committed to helping others. I can easily tell he his your grandson Barbara! Thank you to all your family for your service 🙂

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