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About Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 23, 2018)
2A • February 23, 2018 | Cannon Beach Gazette | cannonbeachgazette.com
COLIN MURPHEY/EO MEDIA GROUP
Team could be
deployed in an
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Two years ago, a budding
medical reserve corps in Can-
non Beach started with four
orange tubs filled with basic
medical supplies and a couple
of passionate volunteers.
Now, a few grants and a
significant number of dona-
tions later, the volunteer emer-
gency preparedness group has
amassed more than 4,200 in-
dividual medical items that
can be distributed in an emer-
The group of 23 local vol-
unteer surgeons, nurses, coun-
selors and other health care
specialists is the only one of
its kind in Clatsop County,
and only one of four on the
Oregon Coast. It has been
slowly growing and training
to be a team that can be de-
ployed to address medical
needs in an emergency.
The concept of a medical
reserve corps is nothing new.
The corps, a national net-
work of volunteers charged
with improving the health and
safety of their communities,
has existed for decades. More
than 900 groups are registered
throughout the United States.
There is also a statewide reg-
istry of health care profes-
sionals who can be deployed
in an emergency.
But Cannon Beach is a
part of a small but growing
number of cities taking emer-
gency management practices
into their own hands, Clatsop
County Emergency Manag-
er Tiffany Brown said. It is
unusual for a city to take on
operational training and sup-
ply requirements of a medical
reserve corps — most are op-
erated through a countywide
public health authority.
It’s even more unusual for
a city of 1,700 people to do so.
“(There is) a general trend
down the coast and rural
counties in general to begin
local planning and commit
local resources in anticipation
that the traditional, perhaps
more regional, resources will
not be available,” Brown said.
‘Boots on the ground’
The idea to start a medical
reserve corps in town came
out of the greater need to have
more disaster response volun-
teers, since a majority of city
staff and first responders do
not live in Cannon Beach.
“We already had a (Com-
munity Emergency Response
Team) program, but we were
missing the specialists after an
emergency,” Cannon Beach
Consultant Stacy Burr said.
“This is really about getting
boots on the ground to multi-
ply medical services. Because
when you only have a couple
of paramedics in town during
an emergency, you are pretty
Part of the drive came
from medical reserve corps
coordinator Lila Wickham,
who was inspired to launch
a unit in Cannon Beach af-
ter participating in an earth-
quake and tsunami drill at
Camp Rilea. Wickham was
concerned about the town’s
lack of a hospital to provide
medical services, particularly
The need for local resourc-
es was bolstered by memories
of the Great Coastal Gale in
2007, which led to flooding
and road closures that isolated
Cannon Beach for days, pre-
venting agencies like the Red
Cross from responding. The
county has a variety of pub-
lic-health related cache sites,
but none specifically in Can-
Medical supplies are among the items stored near Cannon
Beach in the event of an emergency.
Some of the items in the
storage facility include sup-
plies stockpiled by private
“We stepped in, because
we had nothing,” Wickham
These needs are part of the
reason why the corps has a
stronger focus on training to
be “medics in the field,” Burr
said, rather than the more gen-
eral charges of a public health
Wickham and fellow coor-
dinator Bob Wayne, a retired
surgeon, now work with Burr
and Police Chief Jason Scher-
merhorn to conduct state-pre-
scribed training on handling
how to triage a mass casual-
ty scene, drownings, shelter
management and other first
When they aren’t training,
Wickham works to grow their
stockpile by writing grants for
supplies or organizing the do-
nations they receive from Co-
lumbia Memorial Hospital and
Providence Seaside Hospital.
In the cache sites, shelves are
stacked high with meticulous-
ly organized boxes of supplies
like bandages, hemostatic
agents, gauze and aspirin.
“This is really different
larger footprint. So if one of
your team members moved
away, you could still have
continuity because the institu-
tion has a larger pool to draw
from,” she said. “Everyone
here is a volunteer.”
But that same shortcoming
is also what Wickham attri-
butes to the corps’ early suc-
“I think it also makes you
more impassioned if you
choose to do this. You won’t
be reimbursed,” she said. “It’s
interesting to be in a team with
your neighbors doing this. One
day I see you around town, the
next day you are playing a vic-
tim in a mass casualty drill.
It’s just a different dynamic.”
Burr hopes to grow the
number of volunteers as
quickly as they did the sup-
plies, inviting professionals
from surgeons to social work-
ers to join, she said. They also
need to bolster their pediatric
and veterinary supplies, such
as baby formula and diapers.
“In the end, all we have
to rely on in an emergency is
who is there,” Wickham said.
COLIN MURPHEY/EO MEDIA GROUP
‘I THINK IT ALSO
MAKES YOU MORE
IF YOU CHOOSE
TO DO THIS.’
medical reserve corps coordinator
from the hospital environment
most of us are used to,” Wick-
ham said of the volunteers.
“Treating people in an austere
environment has a whole new
set of challenges. We work off
a nationally standardized tri-
age system. You can’t spend
time on people who are prob-
ably going to die. You don’t
have all the conveniences
that you would in a hospital.
It’s just not how we think in a
clinical environment. And it’s
important to train like it.”
Running a program like
this in such a small town does
run some risks.
“If it was run through a
health authority, they have a
CANNON BEACH POLICE LOG
2:48 a.m., Larch and Sixth: Police
assist a motorist who ran out of gas.
Driver was given a courtesy lift to a gas
station, and then back to their vehicle.
10 a.m., Police Headquarters: Lost
keys are reported.
4:28 p.m., Beach and Second Street:
Suspicious circumstances are report-
1:13 a.m., West Gower Avenue: Police
respond to a 911 hang up call at a
hotel. Upon arrival, they encounter
intoxicated subjects involved in a
verbal altercation. Both parties were
deemed not a danger to themselves
or each other; they were advised to
11:22 p.m., 800 block N. Hemlock:
Police respond to a report of someone
using a stun gun to intimidate and
frighten another person. Alcohol was
involved. Officers made contact with
both parties. No crime was reported.
4:37 p.m., Elliot Way: Police respond
to a complaint of a subject entering
a homeowner’s yard to deposit gar-
bage in their trash bin. The home-
owner observed the offense with a
security camera. Police issued a formal
warning to the trespasser.
9:11 p.m., 100 block W. Warren Way:
Police respond to a report of loud mu-
sic coming from a restaurant kitchen.
Officers were unable to locate or hear
12:13 p.m., 200 block Nebesma: Can-
non Beach police assist the Cannon
Beach Fire Department.
3:05 p.m., Police headquarters: A lost
cell phone is reported.
2:58 a.m., Spruce Street: Subjects are
warned of overnight camping.
2:36 p.m., Fifth and Ecola: A motor
vehicle hit and run accident is report-
ed between a vehicle and the pump
12:55 a.m., Hemlock and Third: Of-
ficers encounter two subjects, one
carrying a handmade sword made
of scrap metal. Subjects were coop-
5:34 p.m., 100 block E. Gower: A miss-
ing person is reported. Police say the
subject has medical issues and came
to the police station to be reunited
2:57 p.m., Elliot and Spruce: A mo-
tor vehicle hit and run accident is
9:20 a.m., 200 block N. Hemlock: A
customer causing a disturbance at-
tempting to retrieve items from an
OSP impounded vehicle without au-
thorization resulted in a call for police
assistance. Officer warned subject
and advised the proper procedure
for retrieving personal belongings.
Officer advised subject they were
driving while license suspended.
Subject drove away in front of officer.
Officer initiated a traffic stop. Officer
cited subject for driving while license
suspended and no proof of insurance.
4:37 p.m., Hemlock and Umpqua:
police respond to a report of an
intoxicated woman. The woman is
vehicle is entered and items are re-
9:40 a.m. The Beach: A lost wallet is
returned to its owner.
11:46 a.m. Haystack parking lot: A
camera is stolen from a rental car.
There is no sign of forced entry. In-
cident is believed to have occurred
between on the 11th between 4 and
3:16 p.m. 500 block Vine Maple: A
code violation is reported regarding
tree removal without a permit. Police
contacted the subject who came to
the police department on Feb. 13
to be advised the location where
they were cutting is still within city
limits and that the tree was located
on private property. The subject was
advised he would need to speak with
the property owner, to advise of what
had occurred, and that he would need
to obtain a permit, and owner per-
mission, to continue.
8:49 a.m., Downtown: An unlocked
r r w
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5:37 p.m., 100 block E. Gower: A sub-
ject short of breath was brought to
the police station for assistance.
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P.O. Box 2845, Gearhart, OR
S erving the p aCifiC n orthweSt S inCe 1956 • CC48302
11:58 p.m., U.S. Highway 101: Assis-
tance was rendered.
Laurelwood Compost • Mulch • Planting MacMix
1:22 p.m., Haystack Rock: Police re-
spond to a report of people going
behind the HRAP ropes; police clear
people from restricted areas.
2:26 p.m., Beach: A found cell phone
is turned in and united with its owner.
YARD DEBRIS DROP-OFF
(no Scotch Broom)
239 N. Hemlock • Cannon Beach • 503.436.0208
1:35 p.m., 200 block Broadway: Can-
non Beach police assist Seaside police.
5:42 p.m., Haystack Rock: Police
advise a drone user of the rules and
regulations regarding drone usage.
34154 HIGHWAY 26
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Treats for the Little (or Big)
Leprechauns in your life!
THE COASTER THEATRE
“Helping shape the character of Cannon Beach since 1973”
• 2 LOCATIONS •
(Easy & Convenient)
February 2-24, 2018
Tickets $20 or $25
Shows begin at 7:30pm
Sunday shows at 3:00pm
Mike & Tracey Clark
COASTER THEATRE PLAYHOUSE
108 N Hemlock St
Cannon Beach, OR
256 N. Hemlock St
Residential • Commercial • Remodeling
New Construction • Storm Damage Repair
Full Service Custom Cabinet Shop
www.coasterconstruction.com • CCB# 150126
Licensed • Bonded • Insured
36 Years Experience
(503) 738-9989 • Cell (503) 440-2411 • Fax (503) 738-9337
PO Box 140 Seaside, Oregon 97138