When you call for help
Being lucky enough to have cell service on a large portion of Mount Hood, a lot of rescue calls are called in to 911 via cell phone. When this happens, if you are on the South or West side of the mountain, you will be connected to Clackamas County 911 Dispatch.
Upon giving you location and status one or two things will happen. If someone in your party is injured, a call will immediately go out to the American Medical Response Reach and Treat (RAT) team. If there are no injuries, the sheriff is dispatched and decides the course of action to be taken. The RAT Team is stationed on Mount Hood at Government Camp during the day from 8am till around 10pm, and in Sandy during the rest of the night. The RAT Team will begin climbing towards your location to begin medical treatment.
At the same time this is happening, the county sheriff is also notified of a Search And Rescue (SAR) Event taking place. They will send the SAR Deputy to set up and coordinate operations. The SAR Deputy will then order resources to assist in the evacuation of the patient. Since the AMR RAT Team does not have to manpower to evacuate a patient down the mountain, their main goal is to access and begin treatment for the patient. The RAT Team usually consists of at the minimum an EMT-Paramedic and EMT-Intermediate, sometimes two Paramedics.
While treatment is taking place, other resources are on their way to the patient as well. Usually Portland Mountain Rescue
will effect the ground evacuation. They are a MRA Group that serves the south and west sides of Mount Hood as well. If the patient is critical, the RAT Team may call for a helicopter evacuation by the 1042nd Air National Guard out of Salem, Oregon. This is a rare event, and also a highly dangerous one, as was demonstrated by a rescue helicopter crash in May, 2002. After being evacuated back to Timberline Lodge, the patient will be transported to the appropriate hospital by the RAT Team Ambulance.
Other resources that may be called by the sheriff include Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue
, SAR Explorer Posts, Mt. Hood Snowmobile Club, Mountain Wave Communication
, CARES, Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue, and many others.