Winter Teams are Cool
by Gregg Morris
The winter teams are by far the coolest in SAR. When answering the call, winter team members don their cold-weather clothes and head out into Central Oregon’s possibly frozen tundra. It takes a different kind of team member to look forward to the cold, dark missions of the low-light months.
When assessing the manliness (womanliness) qualities of the winter teams, one need to look no further than the gear. Winter team members’ packs are filled with all of the necessary items to survive outside in sub-freezing temperatures. What other season allows you to simply dig a hole for shelter? Burley clothes stuffed into backpacks allow for warm days (if they’re lucky) followed by cold nights. Multiple fire starters bring out the inner caveman in us all.
Let’s talk toys. Nothing provides the soundtrack of a mission like the sound of a snow machine revving up. Whether it’s the snowmobiles or tracked atvs, the purring of a snow slaying machine announces the arrival of the Deschutes County Search and Rescue Team.
If the terrain doesn’t allow for wide-tracked rescues, good ole manpower is ready to save the day. Winter team members are well versed in all things ski and snowshoe. Ski team members are capable of rescues in all types of elevation and pitch. Is there a hurt skier on Tam Rim? No problem. Lost out-of-bounds skier on Mount bachelor? No worries. Perhaps an equipment malfunction deep in the woods. No problemo, senor. If the occasion calls for a deep snow expert, the snowshoers are always available to march in and save the day.
First Aid in the winter takes on a whole new meaning. There isn’t a ton of frostbite in the summer. Medical problems become more severe as the temperatures drop. But, have no fear, for Dr. Woody has prepped us on cold weather medical issues.
So, if you’re looking to impress your friends even more than you already do, lace up your boots, grab your balaclava and join the winter teams.
Gregg Morris writes the Outside Column for the Source and is a proud member of the Deschutes County Search & Rescue Team.