Dozens of staff and volunteers from various emergency services agencies swooped in to “rescue” several Galena residents May 11 during a mock fire emergency.

Grant County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Coordinator Deputy Dave Dobler, who organized the event, said everything went as planned.

“We had a good turnout with our SAR team, and this was critical to the success of this exercise,” he said. “SAR worked well with the other agencies and worked swiftly and professionally to achieve our operational goals in a systematic and professional manner.”

The residents of Galena were said to have “played along” well in their roles of people experiencing a real wildfire emergency.

A long list of other participants joined the local team, including the county Air Search, Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Emergency Communications Agency (911 Dispatch) and Emergency Management, as well as head of Firewise Communities Irene Jerome.

Other assistance came from Interagency Fire Dispatch, Department of Forestry, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Oregon Emergency Management.

Additionally, Blue Mountain Hospital Home Health and Hospice, Grant Soil and Water Conservation District and Long Creek Fire Department lent a hand.

“It was great to have four SAR rigs take part in the exercise and joined by Sgt. Dan Komning, USFS John Soules and BLM Ranger Jeff Weis,” Dobler said. “It is good so see the list of participants ... working together to make our communities safer and our team of emergency first responders.”

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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