Bee sting victim and cliff jumper

Sheriff thanks volunteers, agencies for help in simultaneous rescues

August 27, 2005

Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler orchestrated two rescue operations at the same time on Thursday afternoon.

About 2 p.m. a cliff jumper sustained a hip injury at Lower Falls along the Eagle Creek trail near Cascade Locks. Within one hour of that emergency, a hiker at Tamanawas Falls along Highway 35 fell and hit his head during an allergic reaction to three bee stings.

Wampler was thankful that a third incident did not occur at the same time, or he would have had his resources stretched too thin. He said the U.S. Forest Service, Crag Rats, Cascade Locks Ambulance and Parkdale Fire Department all helped out at the scene within their respective jurisdictions.

Because of the high volume of recreation in the Gorge and on Mount Hood, Wampler is training each of his deputies to lead a search and rescue effort. He said that will allow him to turn over control to people at the scene and man a base camp if there are multiple problems occurring at once.

“It gets pretty busy around here, especially during the summer months, and we need to be ready for whatever comes our way,” said Wampler.

He said there have been six rescues involving cliff jumpers along Eagle Creek this year alone. It took five hours on Aug. 25 for emergency personnel to carry a Portland man in his 20s from the scene. He was then transported by Cascade Locks medics to the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.

“That area is pretty remote and it is costing taxpayers a lot of money to get help in there. I plan to have a conversation with the Forest Service about this problem when the season is over,” said Wampler.

The Parkdale Fire Department sent 15 volunteers to transport the 60-year-old Hood River man from Tamanawas Falls to a waiting ambulance. He was then taken to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River for treatment of bee venom and a head laceration.

“This is bad time of year for bees and anyone allergic to stings should always carry an antidote kit to avoid a reaction,” said Wampler.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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