Call For Help, 911 Resources En Route

Incident Summary

A call for help prompted local Fire, Watershed and Volunteers whom responded to a Trail Rescue call for an injured hiker on Rattlesnake Ledge in North Bend, Washington.   The response began on Saturday, March 3, 2018, around 0844 hours PST.


Eastside Fire & Rescue, volunteers with the King County Search and Rescue (managed by the King County Sheriff Office) and alongside the Seattle Watershed dispatched personnel around 0844 hours PST.  About ten minutes later, they were still in the process of hiking into the patient’s location.  At that time, there was an unknown status of the injured person’s condition.

As of 0930 hours PST, Fire Officials confirmed that the Trail Rescue was now moving from a rescue to a recovery.  Fire personnel would be released from the scene as the King County Sheriff Office would take over the incident and the main contact for media requests.  KCSO will be working in conjunction with the Seattle Watershed during this recovery process.   Ed – We are so sorry for the  loss to this man’s family, friends and communities he impacted.


Eastside Fire & Rescue consists of serving populations in the Carnation, Issaquah, May Valley, North Bend, Preston, Tiger Mtn., Sammamish and the Wilderness Rim (North Bend area).  Additionally, they include Fire Districts 10 and 38.  This Agency was created as a whole in January of 1999.  In January 2000, additional agencies would join this consolidation.

There are currently 145 full-time career personnel and about 50 volunteers that serve their communities 24/7/365.   They are part of the IAFF Local 2878.  They provide fire suppression, and many other disciplines including working in partnership with King County Search and Rescue teams to reach and treat injured hikers, as well as transporting them to nearby hospitals as needed.

For more information on this Fire Agency, go to their website at


King County Search and Rescue Association (KCSARA)

King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) is a group of volunteers falls under the King County Sheriff’s Office which is responsible for all search and rescue activities in the County.    These groups provide a free service to the public and its communities that respond to numerous incidents that include: lost or injured hikers, hunters, children, elderly, missing persons and down missing aircraft.  Additionally, they assist during times of disasters such as flooding, windstorms, mudslides and earthquakes.

Within KCSAR, there are specialized organizations that work together in conjunction in reaching the ultimate goal of saving lives.

Want to find out more information about this great King County resource or want to join a specific group within the overall organization, visit the King County Search and Rescue Association’s website at

KCSARA is host to supporting and providing resources to its subgroups which consist of:

King County 4×4 SAR | KC4x4SAR consists of 100 mission ready personnel that are on stand-by to be deployed into areas where most conventional vehicles may find terrain impassable or difficult to negotiate.   These volunteers are highly trained in the ability to off-road assisting in looking for missing persons and downed missing aircraft.   Website:

King County Incident Support Team |  The Incident Support Team provides support to the King County Sheriff’s Office during missions which include administration, record-keeping, radio logging and other duties that may be assigned.  Additionally, they also provide Incident Command Systems or ICS expertise before, during and after missions, assistance with plan development and execution.   Requirements to join this unit include; Amateur Radio License (HAM) within the first year of members and taking all WAC classes offered by the King County Search and Rescue Association/King County Sheriff Office as required to become a County volunteer.  Website:

Explorer Search and Rescue |  ESAR is the largest of the KCSARA eight units.  This unit was founded in 1954 and is a 100% volunteer organization just like all the others.  This organization is different from the rest in how its members are generally geared to the younger crowd (youths) and have older members that are field team members, mentors and various supporting other roles.  This unit generally responds to 60 missions annually.  Website:

King County Search Dogs |  This unique SAR dog unit is made up of handlers and teams that provide canine search services within King County and upon request by other sources as approved by the King County Sheriff’s Office.  They specialize in air scent, which is to locate any human within the teams search area or tracking/trailing which the dog is given a scent article that will enable he/she to follow a scent path of a specific individual.  Additionally, this team also has members that specialize in areas such as evidence search, water search, disaster or avalanche search.   Website:

Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue | Members of this unit are horse owners who volunteer their time as a horse and rider team to aid in the search for the lost, injured or missing persons.  Teams also may be requested to assist in the transportation of equipment or supplies.  They are highly trained in wilderness navigation, first aid, search techniques and survival skills.  All members work and train together to help reach the end goals and search objectives.   Website:

Seattle Mountain Rescue | This volunteer unit is made up of at least 100 mountain climbers that focus on saving lives through back-country search and rescue and mountain safety education.  Their specialties include:  high angle, low angle and high hazard operations.  Website:

Ski Patrol Alpine Rescue Team | SPART provides emergency medical/trauma care in wilderness environments all year-round in the King County area.  They are 60-member (volunteers) strong who passionate and highly driven to respond to that cry whenever or wherever it may come from.  They also support other units within the KCSAR organization by maintaining two caches stocked with safety and rescue gear.   Many of the volunteers involved in SPART are also volunteers/members with the Northwest Region of the National Ski Patrol and the American Red Cross of King County.  Website:

Pacific Northwest Trackers Association |  PNWT is a fully qualified team of high level trained, dedicated and passionate members that use their expertise in locating “lost persons” and evidence searches by using their tracking skills.  They also teach those who are interested in learning their perfected craft.  Website:


Rattlesnake Ledge Trail | The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is located within the Cedar River Watershed owned and operated by the City of Seattle. It is open and a maintained trail that is approximately two miles to the Ledge.  The trail is said to be moderate to difficult.  A foot only trail, it is a venue to no fires or camping.

This trail is said to be one of the most popular trails in the region and it is also known to be a dangerous venue as it is host to exposed cliffs and steep drops.  Warnings of possible high usage come with many persons and dogs that can create obstacles.

This is a very beautiful trail and as you ascend, you will find why it is so popular here in the Pacific Northwest.

For more information, visit the Seattle Public Utilities website

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog




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