MEDFORD, Ore. — Two hikers return safe after a dramatic weekend rescue on Lower Table Rock, just as rescue crews say the hiking season is just getting underway. Rescue crews are saying the warm weather means a lot more rescues, and a lot more resources.
Search and rescue crews call these types of operations low frequency, high risk scenarios, which means it might not happen often, but when it does, there’s a big danger of people getting hurt or dying.
Jackson County Fire District 3 provided helmet cam footage of Saturday’s rescue. They say out of a total 120 or so search and rescue missions in Jackson County each year, 15 or 20 require their involvement.
These are usually more extreme cases, involving advanced equipment, highly-trained crews, and sometimes helicopters. Each can easily cost upwards of $5,000 between equipment and overtime costs all of which is usually absorbed by the station.
Rescue crews say the warm weather is expected to bring more rescue situations. More people will venture outside, and many underestimate the risk from things like loose rocks, bad weather, and hypothermia after the sun goes down.
Jackson County Search and Rescue says that a lot of the dangers there during the spring are going to last throughout the summer, even hypothermia. They advise to stay safe and be prepared.