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SCVSAR is Now Utilizing Drones

October 31, 2018

Beginning in late 2017, SCVSAR started to assemble a new team to enable the use of drones, which are more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), as a new tool to help with searches and other missions supported by SCVSAR. The new team has been structured to follow policies that have been put in place by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on the use of UAV’s, and SCVSAR received an official go ahead to begin utilizing UAV’s on missions in March of this year. Part of the policy that was put in place requires that the individuals who will be piloting the UAV’s be compliant with FAA regulations, which require that they pass an FAA-mandated test in addition to passing both a written and a flight test within SCVSAR. To date, SCVSAR has approved seven individuals through the pilot approval process and these are known as Remote Pilots in Command or RPIC’s. SCVSAR has deployed UAV’s on over nine missions so far this year, and on each of these missions the UAV’s are showing significant value by enabling the search of areas too difficult or too hazardous for members of our ground teams to search. In addition, we are […]

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Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue and HRT Provide Mutual Aid to Injured Kittitas County Hiker

On September 4th, Jocelyn and Keshala were hiking in the wooded hills near Rachel Lake in Kittitas County. Jocelyn slipped on the trail and fell, landing fifty feet below at the base of a small waterfall. Keshala scrambled down to reach Jocelyn, who was unconscious, bleeding and partially in the water. Keshala pulled Jocelyn from the water and, with no cell phone service, she ran down trail looking for reception. During her descent, Keshala came upon another hiker who activated his Personal Location Beacon (PLB). The hiker went with Keshala to assist Jocelyn until more help arrived. Members of Kittitas County SAR, Kittitas Medic One and Snoqualmie Pass Fire hiked in. They provided initial care, including getting Jocelyn on a backboard and placing IVs. The initial examination confirmed she had sustained multiple critical injuries. Since hiking out, even with a wheeled stretcher, would take hours, Snohomish County’s Helicopter Rescue Team was called to help. The crew of Snohomish County SnoHawk 10 hoisted Jocelyn 150 feet through a clearing in the trees. Jocelyn received additional medical care during the thirty-minute transport to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Thanks to the speedy transport by Search and Rescue and excellent medical care at […]

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Meet our New SAR Sargent, John Q. Adams

May 4, 2018

Sgt. John Q. Adams has been with the Snohomish County Sheriff since he left the U.S. Marine Corps in 1996. John served 10 years as a patrol deputy in South Snohomish County and was promoted to Master Patrol Deputy while there. He has served in Property Crimes, as a member of SWAT and as a Dive Team member. He is also a member of Everett Mountain Rescue. John has a strong interest in the wilderness of Snohomish County and began preparing to apply for the SAR Sargent position before it was open. He went on a few missions to get to know how SAR operated, learn policies and be ready when the job opened. This year our SAR Sargent for the last 22+ years, Sgt. Danny Wikstrom, retired. Sgt. Adams was ready and applied for the position. He received his appointment to SAR Sargent in February and is ready just in time for the 2018 rescue season. We look forward to working with Sgt. Adams!

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SAR Sgt. Danny Wikstrom, A Life of Service

On March 24, 2018, several hundred friends and colleagues came together to honor and recognize Sgt. Danny Wikstrom and his many years of service to our community. Here is just some of his story, along with a very moving tribute from a long-time search and rescue volunteer. Danny was raised in Sequim, WA and he joined the Sheriff Explorers there at age 14. At 18 years of age he became a dispatcher and reserve police officer with the Sequim Police Dept. One day his friend and fellow officer said he was going to take the exam to apply to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for work. He said Danny should come along and apply as well. Danny asked, “Where is Snohomish County?” His friend said near Everett. Then Danny asked, “Where is Everett?” and his friend said near Seattle. Off they both went to take the exam, and both were hired. Now 35 years later Danny is retiring from law enforcement, with about 21+ of those years spent with Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue. It would take a book to tell you about Danny’s career with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. We will take editorial license and condense it. […]

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Lingering Snow Creating Dangerous Conditions for Unprepared Hikers

June 14, 2017

SEATTLE, Wash. – Search and rescue teams across the region spent the weekend responding to hikers in trouble. To read the original KOMO article by Kara Kostanich in its entirety, please click here. Then, Tuesday afternoon a team was called to help three stranded hikers at Rattlesnake Ledge, but as the team was arriving the group was able to self-rescue. “We’ve had several calls, almost every day over this weekend we’ve had several calls for service,” said Alan Labissoniere, a volunteer with King County Search and Rescue. The Snohomish County Search and Rescue team has been on seven rescue missions since Saturday. On Monday teams in King County rescued an injured hiker from Gem Lake area.   “I’ve definitely seen people hiking up into pretty remote areas in tennis shoes, cotton jeans and t-shirts,” said Steve Smith who is a Climbing Education Manager at the Mountaineers. “When that stuff gets wet up high it does not hold an insulating value at all.”   At the Snow Lake Trialhead near Snoqualmie Pass, hikers Jaime Siridakris and Ashley Daneker admitted lack of gear was their mistake on the trial. “There a lot of snow,” said Daneker. “Nikes are not the appropriate foot wear […]

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Volunteers Turning Vintage Helicopter into Kid-Friendly Float

May 1, 2017

  Rikki King, Everett Herald SNOHOMISH — Children go straight for the buttons and levers. “It’s amazing to see their eyes and the expression when they’re at the controls,” said Bill Quistorf, the chief pilot for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. “They’re in another world. They’re flying a helicopter.” The sheriff’s office frequently sends its helicopters to fairs, parades and festivals. Children line up to climb through the cabin while parents snap pictures. An exciting new attraction is coming in the form of a refurbished vintage helicopter… read more at the Everett Herald by clicking here.

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What were you doing on Mother’s Day 2016?

April 13, 2017

On a mild Saturday afternoon in May of 2016, a group of teens embarked on a day-hike to Blanca Lake, in the remote Cascade Mountains.  As they hiked up the steep trail they had no way of knowing that one of them would soon be lost and in peril. They had no way of knowing that their plans would dramatically alter the Mother’s Day plans of Search and Rescue volunteers from across seven counties. They had no way of knowing how many strangers would sacrifice their time to search hazardous mountain terrain for someone they had never met. As the teens worked their way up the arduous trail, they encountered snow above 3000 feet, making the trail slippery and hard to follow.  Soon, one member of the group, an 18 year old female, decided she did not want to continue.  She informed her friends that she would hike back down alone and meet them at the trailhead. Late in the afternoon, when the group returned to the trail head their friend was not there.  After waiting some time and trying to find her they called 911 at 9PM that night.  Local Sheriff Deputies responded and were unable to reach her […]

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We Are Oso Strong

March 22, 2017

We Remember – Oso Strong! On March 22, 2014 we were called out on a mission like no other, before or since. On that day, a wall of mud came tumbling down in what was soon to be known as the Oso Landslide. When the page came out, our search and rescue teams mobilized, not knowing that we would be searching for weeks. Our Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team was early on the scene and was vital to rescuing some of the survivors. For more than 30 long days, we searched until every last victim was found and laid to rest. And then, we grieved with our community for what had been lost. So today, we remember those that were lost that terrible day, and we celebrate a community that is vital and strong and resilient. We will never forget. #Oso #OsoStrong #SCVSAR #SearchAndRescue

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