By: Lt. Bryan Husband, Search and Rescue Coordinator
Rescued: Blake Ettestad, 31 year old male, Redmond, OR
On 06/25/19, at approximately 9:57am, 9-1-1 Dispatch received a report of an injured hiker on the South Sister climbing trail. The injured hiker, identified as Blake Ettestad, had reportedly fallen on a portion of the trail at about 8,100′ where it was steep, icy and approximately 4.5 miles from the Devil’s Lake Trailhead. Ettestad had lost control on the ice, fallen and slid into a tree, sustaining a non-life threatening injury which kept him from being able to continue. Ettestad had been hiking with a small group of friends who stabilized him as best as they could and called 9-1-1.
Two Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and 10 DCSO Search and Rescue Volunteers responded to assist. Life Flight was contacted and assisted by flying four of the DCSO SAR Volunteers to the closest available landing area at approximately 7,550′. The four SAR Volunteers then skinned up the trail to Ettestad’s location, arriving at approximately 1:17pm. Ettestad was further stabilized and packaged into a Cascade rescue sled for transport. With thunderstorms passing through the area, five additional DCSO SAR Volunteers began hiking up the trail from Devil’s Lake Trailhead in case Life Flight was not able to return. Life Flight was able to return and meet the four DCSO SAR Volunteers, who had transported Ettestad back to the previously described landing area. Life Flight then transported Ettestad to St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Life Flight for their assistance with this rescue. Without their assistance, the response time to Ettestad’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.