Woman found safe after search

“She’s a very tough person,” said Bill Pattison of his 80-year-old wife. Patricia Pattison of Hood River recently returned home relatively unharmed after spending the night out in the cold and rain on a hillside above the Hood River.

“She’s beaten two bouts of cancer. She has survived many adversities,” added Pattison.

According to Bill, while suffering from memory difficulties, Patricia had made a late-night attempt to return to her previous residence sometime after 10:30 p.m. June 12 and became mired in a deep patch of blackberry vines.

Bill notified police upon discovering her absence in the middle of the night, and the search started at 2:20 a.m. June 13, according to Hood River County Sheriff Matt English.

The overnight temperatures hovered in the high 40s and it was raining. Patricia was clothed only in a nightgown, underclothes and her husband’s oversized tennis shoes.

An extensive search for Pattison came to a successful end June 13 after a team of 30 search-and-rescue volunteers worked through the night to locate her.

With the aerial reconnaissance help of retired Sheriff Joe Wampler and his search plane assistant Grant Porter, Pattison was spotted from above and then located by ground crews close to 10:30 a.m. She was found in a brushy area on the eastern terminus of Montello Ave., above the Indian Creek Trail.

“She got caught in a blackberry patch,” said Bill. “She had stomped down a patch of them and was moving when Joe Wampler spotted her.”

According to Bill, Patricia is in good physical condition aside from extensive scratches on her hands, feet and legs. When found, she was suffering from slight hypothermia, registering a core body temperature of 94 degrees, but emergency crews quickly instituted warming procedures.

Patricia was returned home and her family continues their help in her recovery, according to English.

The Pattisons now live above the Indian Creek Golf Course on Avalon Drive, a significant distance from where Patricia was found.

“We think that she walked on the Indian Creek Trail,” said Bill. “She walks a lot and is in great physical condition.”

Hood River Fire and EMS, the Crag Rats and members of the Hood River Rotary assisted the sheriff’s department in the search-and-rescue mission. Bill Pattison is a 60-year veteran member of the Crag Rats.

“The volunteer help we have in Hood River County can’t be compared to anywhere. The talent that comes along with those volunteers is incredible,” said Bill. “It doesn’t seem to matter what is the need — finding someone, fundraising, building something — Hood River is incomparable. I’d put Hood River up against the world!

“We have very experienced law enforcement, fire, EMS, search and rescue and Crag Rat people. We are so blessed. It takes a village, you know, and we are so blessed to live in this village,” concluded Bill.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners