Clackamas County, Portland Mountain Rescue reach agreement

Clackamas County

Details still to be worked out

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, right, and members of Portland Mountain Rescue, February 26, 2020 (Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Less than 2 weeks after the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office announced it planned to bring search-and-rescue volunteers under the sheriff’s office team, they announced a “mutal agreement” with Portland Mountain Rescue.

However the details remain to be worked out.

In a statement, both groups said they had “a productive discussion” Wednesday morning.

“We’re excited to announce a mutual agreement in principle on general terms for a closer relationship between Portland Mountain Rescue and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. We all believe this arrangement will improve safety on the mountain. This partnership will strengthen our existing integration of personnel and resources, and will make planning and mission response more efficient.”

Earlier in February, volunteers from teams like Portland Mountain Rescue and Mountain Wave were surprised when they read a notice put out by Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts announcing the changes.

But on Wednesday officials with Portland Mountain Rescue said they appreciated Roberts’ focus to improve search-and-rescue efforts.

“The concepts we have negotiated will move Portland Mountain Rescue toward becoming a unit of Clackamas County Search and Rescue. At the same time, it will preserve attributes of Portland Mountain Rescue we believe are critical to successful mountain rescue. We are looking forward to working out the details of this arrangement with the Sheriff and building a stronger joint team.”

The agreement comes one day after a climber with Portland Mountain Rescue found an injured skier at the 9400-foot level of Mount Hood. The man was alive when the climbers found him but died before paramedics could reach him.

In a statement, Sheriff Roberts said, “Mt. Hood is one of the most-climbed mountains in the world, and it takes a highly specialized team like Portland Mountain Rescue to accomplish these often dangerous rescue missions safely. Today was a significant milestone, as we partnered together to develop constructive solutions to improve search and rescue on Mt. Hood. I look forward to continuing this discussion and working with Portland Mountain Rescue as we carry on our shared mission: saving lives.”

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