Mt. Hood Search and Rescue Council coordinates and improves search and rescue missions in the region. In addition to risking their lives, their volunteers give thousands of hours of time (often using personal vacation time), purchase their own equipment, and pay for their own gas and vehicles that are used for rescue missions. Without government funding, Mt. Hood Search and Rescue Council relies on the generosity of its volunteers and private donations.
Search and rescue is challenging in both the nature of the task and the location. Local teams from Region 2, State of Oregon, respond to a variety of requests: from people out seeking recreation to potential criminal activity; from lost children to Alzheimer and dementia patients. Volunteers risk their lives, often in remote locations, to rescue those who are lost or severely injured. Sadly, far too often the rescues become recoveries. This is a small glimpse into the diverse scenarios that Mt. Hood Search and Rescue volunteers encounter.
Because of the challenges volunteers face, their lives are often exposed to trauma. According to Cascadia Behavioral Health, “reactions to traumatic events vary widely, but can include fear, shock, helplessness, and physical symptoms. For some people, extreme stress following a traumatic event can be overwhelming and cause lasting psychological effects if left untreated. Trauma may present itself through feelings of demoralization, burnout, callousness, anger, and physical symptoms.”
This year, Clackamas Federal Credit Union continues a great history of supporting these volunteers with a donation of $10,000. This is the sixth annual donation from Clackamas to Mt. Hood Search and Rescue Council totaling over $60,000 dollars! Sherri Magdlen, Regional Director of Development, has invited the volunteer teams to attend a 3-day training dealing with the “Psychological Impact on Searchers” to help with these issues. Sherri says “this training will impact people involved with searches. We want to express our deepest appreciation for the considerable support provided by Clackamas over the years, including this generous donation!”
“Our mission at Clackamas Federal Credit Union is to improve lives in Clackamas County. We serve that mission through financial services and education, as well as support of numerous local organizations in the County,” said Clackamas CEO Aaron Goff. “It is our pleasure to support Mt. Hood Search and Rescue with this donation. They provide a critical service to the County, and they do in the most extreme and unpleasant conditions. I have been astonished at what these volunteer rescuers endure and how frequently they are called upon.”