JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.—Jackson County Search and Rescue, has gone on several missions this week, especially with people getting trapped by the winter storm. Search and rescue is a year-round job, and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says this year it’ll do around 150 search and rescues.
Deputy Jason Denton has been part of the Jackson County Search and Rescue team for 20 years. He says this year, calls are picking up with the winter weather.
“This time of year it’s mostly people following some type of device whether it’s a GPS or an iPhone and it takes them on a goofy route,” said Deputy Denton.
In a given week, we can get as many as a dozen calls for people needing help. Friday, Deputy Denton went on a mission to find two people who had been stuck in a car on a snowmobile trail.
“When we get one of these calls the first thing we try and do is get all the correct information and if it’s something we can handle, we try and handle it, if we can’t find the person then we call in the search and rescue team,” said Deputy Denton.
In this instance, the two slept in the car overnight, in freezing temperatures because their vehicle was stuck. Deputy Denton located the two past union creek, at a snowmobile park called Thousand Springs.
“They came up last night, took a wrong turn and got buried in the snow, slept in the car overnight, and weren’t sure how they were going to proceed,” said Deputy Denton.
Deputy Denton helped one get a tow truck, while he took the other back to her worried mother, who was about to report her daughter as missing. These two were lucky, but he says that’s not always the case.
Cases like this are why Deputy Denton says he comes to work every day.
“It’s fun that you can possess a skill or a knowledge base that helps reunite people,” said Deputy Denton.