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Camping trip leads to Airlife rescue

A peaceful afternoon expedition lead a Mt. Bachelor Academy program counselor to a helicopter rescue.
   "They (students and staff) were on a three-day camping outing and at the end of their summit of Lookout Mountain, they did some sledding," Sharon Bitz, executive director of Mt. Bachelor Academy said. "One of the staff members was on a sled and injured her back."
   At 5:09 p.m. on Dec. 5, 9-1-1 Dispatch received a report of an injured female who was incapacitated and was located in the Ochoco National Forest, approximately 30 miles east of Prineville. The call was made from a cell phone by a member of the woman's party that had snowshoed into the area. The staff member and a student were sledding when they collided with a tree.
   Crook County Fire and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, Crook County Sheriff's Search and Rescue and Air Life of Oregon were all dispatched to the incident. Air Life of Oregon was able to locate the group and land their aircraft prior to the arrival of responding emergency personnel. The staff member was transported to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and treated for injuries. The student was bruised, but otherwise in good condition.
   "She (the staff member) is fine, she has a fractured vertebra, but it's not a complicated fracture or anything," Betz said. "She's just going to take a few weeks to recoup a little bit because she's sore."
   As a result of this emergency, the Crook County Sheriff's Search and Rescue will be receiving additional equipment.
   "We have a green light from the County Court, the morning following the incident, to purchase two snowmobiles and a rescue sled," Crook County Undersheriff Jim Hensley said. "We are currently going out and getting prices."
   These items will enhance the response and rescue for persons requiring emergency services in Crook County, and central Oregon.