Released by: Deputy Donny Patterson, Assistant Search and Rescue Coordinator

Released Date: 09/20/2022

Location: Tam McArthur Rim, near Broken Hand (Sisters)

Person Assisted: 38 year old male, La Pine, Oregon

On September 20, 2022, at 8:13 AM, the Deschutes County 911 Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding a hiker who had become ill while hiking the Tam McArthur Rim trail near Broken Hand located in the Three Sisters Wilderness. The reporting person told the 911 call taker that the ill hiker was not feeling well yesterday at around 3:00 PM.  The hiking party (total of three) decided to camp near the trail overnight, to see if the ill party’s health would improve the next morning.  There was no improvement in the subjects health, in-fact, his condition deteriorated overnight to the point that he was now unable stand let alone hike back out.  It was also reported that this hiker was still recovering from a serious injury related to a vehicle collision that he was involved in approximately 8-months ago.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Medical Team was contacted about the ill hiker, and phone contact was made to the hiker by a SAR Medical Volunteer.  It was determined that the subject would need the assistance of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, and possibly an Air Ambulance.  AirLink was contacted and agreed to assist SAR with this patient, depending on flying conditions.

At approximately 9:11 AM hours, a page was sent out to SAR and a total of 14-SAR volunteers responded to this mission. As SAR members were responding, AirLink requested to have two SAR members fly with them to the location to prepare the patient for air transport if the weather conditions were favorable enough to land in the area.  Two SAR members responded to the AirLink office in Bend and they were flown to the area where a safe landing zone was established.  Two SAR members then hiked from the helicopter a short distance to the patient reaching him at approximately 10:47 AM.  The patient’s health was assessed by the SAR members and he was then transported to a landing zone and prepared for air transport.

While the patient was being prepared for air transport, two additional SAR teams were responding on foot hiking up the Tam McArthur trail towards the patient with a wheeled litter as a contingency plan.  The weather conditions were favorable and the patient was successfully loaded into the AirLink helicopter and flown to the Saint Charles Hospital in Bend for further treatment and medical evaluation.

The SAR volunteers remained at the location and assisted the remaining hiking party members back out to their vehicles located at the Tam McArthur trailhead.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank AirLink for their assistance on this call.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with five K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 259 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 191 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.