By: Lt. Bryan Husband, Search and Rescue Coordinator
Rescued: Robert Kalmbach, 21 year old male, Eugene, OR
Assisted: Michael Martin, 21 year old male, Eugene, OR
On 06/10/19, at about 10:21am, 9-1-1 Dispatch received a call from Robert Kalmbach, who reported he had injured himself while hiking/skiing North Sister and needed assistance. Kalmbach and his friend, Michael Martin, had set out earlier in the morning from the Pole Creek Trailhead with a plan to summit North Sister and then ski back to the trailhead. Kalmbach reported he and Martin made it to within 200′ of the North Sister summit which reaches 10,085′, when he fell and slid partway down the mountain’s east slope. Kalmbach injured himself during the fall and was unable to continue on his own.
9-1-1 Dispatch was able to provide Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies with accurate coordinates of Kalmbach and Martin’s location through the 9-1-1 call, placing them approximately 5.5 miles from the Pole Creek Trailhead. AirLink assisted by flying Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Volunteers to a point approximately 800′ below Kalmbach and Martin. Five additional DCSO SAR Volunteers responded to the Pole Creek Trailhead. While the first two DCSO SAR Volunteers made their way up the slope to Kalmbach, AirLink responded to the Pole Creek Trailhead and picked up two additional SAR Volunteers to fly in. The four DCSO SAR Volunteers, consisting of Mountain Rescue and Medical Team members, arrived at Kalmbach’s location at approximately 1:46pm.
Kalmbach was stabilized as much as possible, packaged into a rescue sled made for snow travel and lowered down to the awaiting AirLink helicopter. AirLink then transported Kalmbach to St. Charles Hospital in Bend with non-life threatening injuries. DCSO SAR Volunteers then assisted Martin back to the Pole Creek Trailhead.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank AirLink for their assistance with this rescue. Without their assistance, the response time to Kalmbach’s location would have been considerably longer, potentially leading to further medical problems.
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 four K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today lead by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves the nearly 190,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 230 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 187 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.