Three Missing People and Two Dogs Rescued Near Redway Early This Morning

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Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue

Around 9 p.m. last night, emergency dispatch received a report of a man and a woman trapped on a ravine west of Redway. One of them had an injured ankle and the other had fallen.

Multiple agencies collaborated to rescue what turned out to be three missing persons and two dogs west of Redway, said Kai Ostrow of Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue. Cal Fire, Redway Fire, Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue, California State Park, City Ambulance, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office all participated. 

“The helicopter was us too,” Ostrow explained. “[It was] a medevac that we were able to cancel at the last minute.”

The group, one with moderate injuries, was “located and lowered down a pair of cliffs and packed down a ravine,” said Ostrow. Then the rescuers helped the group ford the Eel River to the waiting ambulance.

Just before 4 a.m., the last rescuers headed home. (Reminder: many of these heroes are volunteers that don’t get paid for their time.)



  • It’s not my intention to be mean-spirited. But, really? 6 agencies and a medevac helicopter? And all are compensated, right? How about 1 agency checks out the situation and if it needs backup, it calls one other, most-appropriate-for-the-situation agency. Taxpayers thank you in advance.

    • Earthquake Thunder Fart

      It says at the bottom of the article that these people are volunteers who aren’t paid.

      • You can bet that chopper wasn’t a volunteer.

      • Tech Rescue and Redway VFD are volunteers (although I think the organization is compensated when they respond, the individuals are not). Sheriff, CALFIRE, State Parks, the ambulance, and the medevac helicopter are all paid. It costs for all of those agencies to scramble. It makes sense for Tech Rescue. It makes sense for the sheriff if it’s county or parks if it’s park land. The ambulance is paid by call, as is the medevac. The medevac is really expensive.

    • Because until youre with the injured you dont know if its life or death or even gonna lose the limb or whatever. If its life or death you dont want to wait to call in more resources. Hearing 2-3 people need extraction means you need more people to help carry them out. Did you see how long this took? If it was life threatening they couldnt wait 7 hours.
      If it was your family would you ask this, and if it was your family and hardly anyone came to help, wouldnt you then be venting about lack of assistance and wheres all my tax money going? It happens.
      I dont think redway fire nor tech rescue take much your previous tax dollars. Theyvr been built on the donations of the community.
      Im sure you could find out just how much this incident cost if you look it up. Its one of the lowest taxes we pay, and one of the most important that deserves more.

      Maybe you dont live in humboldt or you live in city proper, but most places in our county do not have available resources just waiting around the corner.

      It doesnt matter what the peope were doing, probably hiking. People do still come here for tourism you know.
      Even if you know the terrain it can be easy to get turned around a bit and take a chance hiking down something thats not a safe idea.

      The big part of the story is how super duper F’n lucky we are to have such amazing volunteers. Our tech search and rescue are true heroes!!!! Thank them, feed them, donate however you can. They rock!!!

      • We are so blessed to have these dedicated, well trained professional rescuers in our community.
        Thank you again and again!

      • Well stated & absolutely true, volunteer firefighters don’t get paid, period but they will still risk their lives to save yours!!!

      • I do appreciate our volunteers. I donate to my own local VFD, other local VFDs (and pay fire fees too for whatever good that doesn’t do.) My comments aren’t a criticism of the people who put their lives on the line. I have a number of firefighters and first responders in my family and I know full well the risks that they take. I have one brother who’s been the charge responder in 3 fatalities in the last month. My comment is specifically about the number of agencies that scrambled on this. It seems that a chain of response would be appropriate.

        • Sharpen your pencil

          Your comment is very much so criticizing these individuals. Because this situation called for a response of ALL OF THEM!

      • Michelle Steele

        I Agree with you welp.. my son is a volunteer fire fighters and he don’t get paid helping people, he does it to make sure the people are safe and out of the goodness of his Heart. He does have a regular job also that he is paid for and volunteer on the side. He is only 28 years old may I add and I am very proud of him..

      • Aman I will second that !!!!!!!

    • That’s not how it works, if it was you at the bottom of a cliff in a pile wouldn’t you want all available assets in route just incase you needed them?
      These people are the salt of the earth, true heroes who go out to help people in need anytime of day for no reward, hats off to all of you, much love!

    • Okay Onlooker. You just hang on to the side of that cliff just a little while longer I’m going to hike back and tell the rest of the rescuers yep Onlooker really needs our help … Oh by the way our radios don’t always get out in every situation…so you just hang on a little bit longer, shouldn’t take more than a hour or so to get back to you… GOOD LUCK

      • I think all he was saying was that he thinks the people who needed assistance from the six agencies should have to pay for the services that could have very well saved their lives.

        • That’s stupid and petty. I’d rather just pay my damn taxes so it’s there for everyone. Why folks insist on nickel and diming everyone to death is beyond me.

          • Lost Croat Outburst

            Ah, yes,an old-school American Patriot. I thought we were all gone. The strength of this great nation was built on a vast land mass with a vast, united population, working together to create to create an economic and social miracle. That is, after the genocide, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, etc. was and is dealt with. Now, the White House works actively to flush the whole thing. Republicans and others march us, like lemmings, off the cliff. Free-Staters on the radio told me that we should break up into 50 little countries, so we can all be happy. That works so well in Central America. Take a work of art and smash it to bits. Sad.

            Pay your damn taxes and all for one and one for all. Not bad for an atheist. BTW, wife and I pay plenty in taxes. Don’t worry.

    • Fix your glasses, they said they are not paid at the bottom.

    • Sharpen your pencil

      Sure hope your loved ones never need emergency services (although, by reading your comment you would think you didn’t have any), at least under your guidelines, because they would be dead! Are you seriously so ignorant as to think your idea is good, you may want to get your head looked at! Every minute counts during severe injuries….

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      If you don’t put a bandanna on your dog, you are 37% less likely to need helicopter rescue, or any rescue at all.

      Don’t bandanna your dog, don’t smoke dope, carry a compass- not a cell phone and you’re good.

      Reporting marijuana growers to proper authorities with pictures only helps the community.

    • Its called letting the professionals decide!! These men with hours and hours of hard training are volunteers!!

    • Robert Gonzalez

      If it was you or your family in that ravine you would want the same care they got and not be a penny pincher shame on you for just thinking about money.

    • So maybe its just time amateurs should no longer be allowed to just go for a hike. Maybe hang some,signs that say you will have to cover alk costs for your own rescue,..
      Pretty simple, hike all you want just bring your wallet.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Read the very last paragraph. You don’t mean to be mean-spirited but you were anyway. Soooooooooo, you voted for whoooooom for president?!?

      Think it through (!?!?). A rescue call is placed. Possibility of complicated rescue and injuries, perhaps severe. To go light and cheap to please naysayers and nihilists, fewer personnel and less emergency equipment is deployed. Oops! Injuries are worse than anticipated. By the time the additional personnel and gear arrives, victim is dead. Comprendez?

      Now, apply The Golden Rule variant: if it was your ass off the cliff, would you want the bare-bones crew or everybody available? Quickly now! Quick.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    Where were they? What were they doing there? Why such a big team of rescuers?

  • You go hike your ass up a dark mountain in the middle of the night and help out if you are so concerned.

    • Victor G. Flashman

      Low startle point? Bad mood much? Feeling hung over perhaps? Please put away the Goobsterdam attitude. Just curious. No one is actually attacking you…

      Do your Neurontin, take a Xanax, smoke some weed, shoot some smack, hell, whatever it takes…

  • These resources work in coordination and often require eachothers support. Not much use in calling the ambulance if the people are stuck on the other side of the river! Volunteer emergency services are the best deal the taxpayer ever got. I hope you are never in need of emergency services, onlooker

  • Dear Onlooker, as a first responder volunteer I can confirm much of what the previous folks said and clarify a bit. When a call comes in you send all the potentially needed resources as determined by the information you have available. Especially with volunteer organizations, there is a lag time from call to response as the responder prepares and leaves, often from home, gathers necessary gear and heads to the scene. In an emergency every second counts. In the rural areas of our county it can take a long time to get to an incident and situations are as likely to be worse, or get worse, over time than initially reported.
    First responders on scene can evaluate and report back to the dispatcher if even more response is needed or if responders can be cancelled.
    Most of our rural responders are not only volunteers, but have to work hard doing fundraising events to support their organizations. Our labor may be free, but our equipment, insurance, vehicles and their maintenance, are not. Many VFDs and Rescue organizations also run with a small core of dedicated volunteers and are eager to welcome other community oriented folks to join their organizations.
    I hope everyone who lives in the rural areas is inspired to volunteer or donate or in some way support their local first responders. They are there when you need them.

    • Don’t have the time to volunteer but I will definitely send more $ your way than just eating the BBQ during fundraising. Thank you for your service!

    • I wonder, how often do people who have been rescued by you all come back to volunteer out of gratitude?

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Thank you for telling it like it is and thank you to all first-responders, EMT’s, rescue teams, VFD’s, USCG, LEO’s and anyone I forgot. You show us that nasty, mean-spirited people like in The White House and Congress cannot win and will not win.

  • Bill ’em. Taxpayer’s shouldn’t have to pay for arrogant hippies who think they can hike wherever they want whenever they want and are invincible. I do not want to pay one penny for the childish mistakes of these “adventurers.”

    • Sleepy Alligator

      Then move to a different country! With your attitude I suggest you move to one where everyone is perfect and accidents do not occur.

      • It would be much bettet to move to one where people take responsibility for their own saftey and actions. Being viligant to not get ones self or others in situtions where they cant get out of , i have loads of respect for all first responders , in fact i was one once, but when sometimes darwin just needs to be given a chance to work.

      • Agreed 250% & Good Luck to you on finding one!!!

    • Yeah and keep off my grass you damn kids

    • As if you’ve NEVER made a mistake!!! If you were in this situation how would you feel if the rescuers said, “Oh it’s his fault, just leave him there”???

      • I would accept the fact i screwed up and either do what it take to correct it or accept the fate of the place i put myself in. But i guess thats what grown ups do, kids expect others to look after them, i dont rely on anyoe but myself, and i make it justt fine

        • Every one has their time. Good luck.

        • Then you, Sadtruth, must be, oh, under 40 years old (older and the body doesn’t always work with perfection), have no physical ailments (maybe a few mental, but no physical ones) have full knowledge of the exactly proper actions to be taken in ANY emergency and the ability to take them, have the ability to lift and tear apart an automobile to get a trapped person out, entirely by your self, and take any and all proper actions to get said person to the hospital by yourself. You also own, not only a fire truck, but an ambulance and medevac helicopter and can fully operate all functions of them. We have a neighbor who is a VOLUNTEER (even his gas to get to the scene isn’t reimbursed) and the son of the lady across the street is a dedicated employee of CalFire as was his older, retired brother. Our daughter grew up with the CalFire fire fighter. I feel extremely honored to know these men, each and every one of them. When our current neighbor drives out in response to an emergency, I say a prayer that he return to his family, unharmed. (Maybe a bit dirtier, but unharmed) The one part of the taxes I pay that helps support any and all the equipment, etc., I pay without hesitation. I sincerely hope, Sadtruth, that you and your ilk never have need of these selfless people. But then, maybe you will learn a thing or two, should that day come.

    • Too funny. This is what you want to bitch about when it comes to your tax dollars being spent. Comical to say the least

    • After reading these comments, it’s safe to say we have some mouth breathers among us

      • No it would be better to say the tax payers will be footing another bill for mouth breathers that bit off more than they could chew. Hopefully our new adminstration will make more cuts so that the few don’t have to pay for the masses.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Another nasty, mean-spirited one!? No wonder the country’s going to hell. Read the last line, please.

  • Vegas but homegrown

    Thank you to everyone who helped. 😇💜

  • Thank you once again technical rescue team. You guys are awesome!

  • Good job volunteers , pretty sure they have fundraisers that that you are invited to so if you don’t like it don’t go you are not forced to donate or support .

  • A factual analysis of the cost of the rescue:

    So Hum Tech Rescue: All volunteer personnel, most (probably all) also unpaid Volunteer Fire Department people: Briceland, Redway, Shelter Cove, etc. Equipment paid for by local fund raising and/or scrounged from various fire agencies.

    Cal Fire – State agency – they are paid a monthly salary, not by hour. Income from State General Fund and special ‘Fee’ (disguised tax) of $117 dollars a year paid for by homeowners in rural areas, including areas where homeowners (and all landowners) also have voted themselves a special district tax ($85/year for Briceland VFD)

    Redway Fire: All volunteer. Equipment paid for by ad valorium taxes, i.e. a portion of Redway Residents property taxes – the slice they get determined by County Board of Supervisors.

    Cal State Parks: Probably one or two folks showed up – access was through the park. That one has locked gates, they have the keys. Again, salaried (not by hour) personnel paid by state general funds – ie your annual CA 540 taxes and sales tax.

    City Ambulance: Private. Probably stood by on Redway side of river waiting delivery most of night – been there, done that when I worked Garberville Ambulance. Not your tax dollars at work, and available most of the night ready to roll on another call, instead of asleep next to the wagon…

    Humboldt Sheriffs: Again, salaried, not hourly. Paid if asleep on-call, or on active duty. Might as well be up. Your property taxes at work.

    Medi-vac: Reach Helicopter is private. Annual subscription fees available, service paid for by you or your insurance if used. (Expensive – my ride once was $5 grand – would not have been worth it ‘cept it saved my life.)

    So, dear concerned Onlooker (and taxpayer); fret not. No ‘extra’ compensation of your tax dollars was expended.

    Now to your other concern – about sending one agency to check things out first, and if backup is needed, then call other agencies?

    Don’t work that way, for good reasons. Experience is one. The rule is, call ’em if you think you might need ’em, get there, check it out, them call ’em off as needed. Recall, in above rescue, MedEvac was canceled. (It is aso, especially for the volunteers, good training – been turned around before I got there many times – all emergency services know this, never knew anyone, full time paid or volunteer, that got pissed off about it – it goes with the territory.)

    Why? Call: ‘Man down, difficulty breathing’. I first respond as an EMT volunteer firefighter and requested ambulance (wintertime, CDF then (CalFire now) not in station) as soon as I get truck start and radio on. Four minutes until at scene, and I have a man down on floor in full cardiac arrest, and I’m alone for the next two minutes until the second volunteer shows up – but the ambulance is four minutes ahead of where it would have been had I not requested backup right away. (We lost him.)

    The other reason to call in additional help before you are there: The Fog of Emergency Services. The call you GET and the call you GET TO can be really different breeds of cat. It is lots better to have help you need already rolling, than tp start calling them up after you arrive.
    There are many, many other real-world examples I could bore you with, because I am the founder-chief of what is now the Briceland VFD, and did 21 years of volunteer firefighting, plus 3 years of on-call and part-time paid with Garberville Ambulance as a paramedic. Multiple agency call-outs, especially out-in-the boonies work, is par for the course in Southern Humboldt.

    But please don’t fret- it ain’t costing you extra taxes, and it’s good training for all involved. (I also served a couple of years on the Briceland Fire Protection District Board, and learned a lot more about taxes than I ever wanted to know.)

    And as a bonus, it was an all nighter for mostly volunteers, who got some more good training, and best of all, it turned out well and those that needed help got it. And that, dear people, is our ‘pay’ – especially when it turns out well.

    • Sorry but even though people are saleried they still have ot wriiten into bargaining contracts , normally with 3 to 8 hours call back time added. But a couple grand in labor isnt a whole lot

    • *~WORD~* from the un-official ‘Mayor Permanent’ of Briceland!

      • Thanks, but negative Nobody – Mayor Permanent of Briceland was and is Peter Ryce. I was, for 20 + years, the ‘Fire Guy’, and that was plenty.

    • Thanks, Gerald. Whether you accept the title, or not, you are one of the heroes who walks amongst us!

    • Thank you Gerald for all the time and effort and $$$$$$$$$ you have happily contributed to the community. We are better because of you.

    • One small correction. The “Special Fee” on rural parcels does not pay firefighter salaries. It is earmarked for prevention. It funds inspections and media campaigns for fire prevention and limited grants for fuel reduction and education projects. A lot of it goes to administrative overhead. It looks like it’s actually going away as the gov used it as a bargaining chip for the carbon cap-and-trade program.

    • Humboldt resident

      Just my two cents…so that this commentary is as factual as can be.

      I’m not sure how it works with the other agencies (i.e. CalFire and CA State Parks) but as far as the Sheriff’s Office is concerned the only salaried employees are ranked Lieutenant or higher.
      BUT their job is to respond to these types of calls and be there when we need them. These people may have made a mistake but that doesn’t mean that they should pay with their lives in an effort to save some tax dollars. Lives were saved and I am okay with my tax money supporting their efforts.

    • Who wouldn’t want tourist to feel there is a competent rescue team here?

  • Many, many thanks to Gerald who gave so much for so many years. And to all the responders who were there in the middle of the night to rescue these folks and their dogs. To say it once again, our community is blessed with the likes of these stalwart individuals who risk life and limb to help others in distress.

  • Thank you to our volunteers for risking your life to save ours YOU ROCK!!As a Humboldt (life time) resident I feel safe knowing we have folks like you here in our beautiful home😆

  • Thanks for the breakdown and explanations! Unless you have been a first-responder or a victim, you will not know how inter-agency coordination and cooperation works in real life. Everyone is crucial in that moment. And we all would rather be cancelled than not be there for someone in need. Thanks and blessings to all our good responders, paid and unpaid, especially dispatch and all those behind the responders. Hoorah!

    • Cheryl, thank you for reminding me about dispatch. Of all the unsung heroes out there – dispatch is one of the tops. My wife Maril was our internal dispatch in the old days of CB, and kept me informed (via our scanner at home) who was coming – both agencies and individual captains on the rigs coming, because she recognized the voices. BTW, CHP often gets involved in these runs as well, and she knew all those call signs and voices.

      More than once, she stayed up all night too. And I’m sure more than one individual dispatcher stayed up on this one, as well as the ‘official’ paid 911 folks.

  • Salute to these good folks who turn out to help others like this.

    Support your volunteers in these organizations everywhere you find them.

  • Hope the dumb asses get Poison oak really bad.

  • Concerned citizen

    I decided to read the comments, cause I was a bit curious as to whether it was locals or out-of-towners in distress and hoped there would be a clue. The ‘Troll’ and the responses to his bait, made me sorry I did. Until I got to Gerald E Myers comment. Then I learned something and it was not a waste of time. Cheers for Gerald! Cheers for the paid and unpaid rescue workers! Cheers for ‘Local News’!

  • Why can we not just leave the decisions of the professionals to the professionals? Why do we have to second guess every single incident that happens? As someone who has had lead in medical emergencies, fires, industrial accidents, and near misses, I always welcomed those Monday morning quarterback’s comments that proved helpful; you know, the ones trying to help for the next time something happens. But the others, well, I wish they would experience just one time the kind of situation many of us have had. They might come away with a different attitude.

    Good work to all involved.

    • Because a lot of times the pros make mistakes as well.

      • Victor G. Flashman

        And sometimes professionals make the mistake of moving to SoHum…

      • Oh course we make mistakes on runs (or in my case, did – I’m retired now). And Monday morning quarterbacking/blowback can be useful. However, most emergency services perform a critique on every run, or at least every major run. First hour of the first drill after a big run is critique time: starting with where each member was when they got the call, the initial response, where vehicles were stationed, communications, who did what when – very detailed. This was not to assess blame or pat backs, the focus is What Did We Do Right? What Could Have Been Done Better? What Was Screwed Up? And mostly: How Can We Do Better Next Time? This was standard when I was the Beginnings VFD Chief – because nobody is harder on themselves than the responders. We never had a perfect run, but we did get better as we went along. This still goes on with most VFDs, and even the ‘big’ agencies critique major responses.

        With the Garberville ambulance service (early 1980’s), ever couple of weeks a designated Doctor from Phelps hospital would sit down with the responders and go over every single run (Bill Hunter in my day), with a special focus when things got screwed up, whatever those ‘things’ were. Again, not to assess blame, but to learn and get better.

        I suspect most of the agencies still do this – it goes with the territory. As first responders, you are *always* learning, and you never have a perfect run. And please accept my experience with a lot of volunteers over the years that we really do give a damn about what we do. It’s important, and we get that, usually sooner than later. It’s not about being a hero, it’s about being professional – the ‘but we are just volunteers’ does not cut it – when we go out the door on a run, we need to think professional, act professional, be professional. And it can be hard. And I am seeing in increase in professionalism, with the volunteer agencies every year.

        My hat’s off to So Hum Tech Rescue on this run, and I will bet they will pick themselves apart next meeting on how they could have done better and what lessons they can take from this run to the next big one. They have become the most professional, best trained volunteer group in Humboldt County. I wish to hell I was 50 years younger and could come aboard as a newbie…

        And speaking of valuable community service, thanks to Kym Kemp and Redheaded Black Belt for another really valuable service.

  • Stick to the marked trail people.
    Well maybe not as in they might be homeless encampment trails.

  • Thanks and more thanks to the selfless, trained, and willing volunteers who give of themselves.

  • Kym try very hard to get current events out to us,helping us to know wether family members are in trouble ,or not in trouble. An overveiw would reveal that alot of people need to set on their reflections ,and think three times as to wether their post is relevant,helpful or significant,or whether it is just counter productive to what she is trying to do or offer to our community. I’d hesitate to critique her,it’s not necessarily,pay attention to her intention,which is the better good of our community.

  • Well auto correct had its way with my post ,but I still think it is discernable.

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