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Dec-29-2008 23:41printcomments

Oregon Guard Succeeds in Response to Multi-County Crisis (PHOTOS)

During the event, 47 Soldiers and Airmen used 10 Humvees to work with incident commanders in the counties to assist with fire, police, and humanitarian missions.

Oregon Guardmembers work with local firefighters and emergency responders in St. Helens, Oregon, Dec. 23rd
Oregon Guardmembers work with local firefighters and emergency responders in St. Helens, Oregon, Dec. 23rd. In the other photos, Oregon Guardmembers load cases of heater meals into a Humvee to transport to the Mist, Oregon, Rescue Headquarters, Dec. 26th. Photo courtesy, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kim Johns, LNO/ORSDF Oregon Military Department.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen answered the call to assist fellow Oregonians affected by the winter storm in Columbia and Multnomah Counties, December 20th through December 28th.

Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) is the coordinating state agency for resources during an emergency. Assistance is requested from OEM by counties when they have exhausted resources at the local level.

When the request was made by the counties, OEM utilized National Guard assets to fulfill the counties needs.

"This was a great partnership between local and state government," said Capt. Charles Patzner, Operations Officer for the Joint Emergency Operations Center.

"The counties did a superb job and we were thankful to have been apart of their operation."

During the event, 47 Soldiers and Airmen used 10 Humvees to work with incident commanders in the counties to assist with fire, police, and humanitarian missions.


Twenty-seven Soldiers of the 141 Brigade Support Battalion provided vehicles and drivers to the Gresham Fire Department and Gresham Police Department, which responded to more than 70 emergencies, including 11 life-saving missions, and more than 80 other incidents.

Seventeen Airmen and three Soldiers with the 116th Air Control Squadron, working with civilian agencies in Columbia County responded to 103 fire, medical and public assistance calls, conducted 164 welfare checks, and delivered 162 cases of heater meals and 200 cases of water.

The Soldiers also performed 11 critical medical transports, distributed 49 meals and water to remote residences in the area.

They delivered, operated and maintained two generators, provided drinking water for the entire Mist community, and powered a warming shelter in Vernonia.

"This response in coordination with the military and emergency management has been phenomenal," said Vicki Harguth, Director of Homeland Security in Columbia County.

"The rapid response and professionalism of the Soldiers working hand-in-hand with the civilian agencies shows that the emergency systems in place work."

Source: Oregon Guard




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