Sheriff's Office Honored By Oregon State Sheriff's Association (Photo)
HRCSO Snowcat Photo Courtesy of Richard Hallman
BEND, Ore. - On December 10, 2014, the Oregon State Sheriff's Association (OSSA) held their annual banquet in Bend at the Riverhouse Hotel. The pinnacle of the event is the awards presentation that recognizes achievements from the previous year. Awards are competitive and open for statewide nomination.
Sgt. Ricardo Castaneda and Deputy John Harvey were honored with Lifesaving awards for their actions on May 16, 2014 when they saved the life of a kiteboarder on the Columbia River. The kiteboarder had become entangled in a navigational buoy and was being pulled under water. Harvey and Castaneda were able to reach the kiteboarder in the Sheriff's Office boat, cut her free from her kite lines and bring her on board safely. Following the rescue, the kiteboarder made statements that she was at the point of giving up and would not have survived if Castaneda and Harvey hadn't rescued her.
In addition, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office was recognized by the OSSA Search and Rescue Advisory Council as the Search and Rescue Program of the year. Hood River County's Search and Rescue needs have grown exponentially in recent years and show no signs of decreasing. In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in trail rescue needs within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. In 2013, the Sheriff's Office fielded ninety-three search and rescue calls for service. In 2014, that number exceeded 100. Counties with similar search and rescue volumes often have four or five times the staffing that Hood River County has. Great community partnerships and volunteer programs like the Crag Rats, have been the key to success and are absolutely critical to fulfill the volume of missions performed by Hood River County.
"I'm extremely proud of our organization and the work that our personnel performs everyday. Although our staff doesn't seek or expect recognition, it's very nice to be acknowledged and all of the accolades are truly well deserved.", said Hood River County Sheriff Matt English.