Tribal Government & News

Tribal police help evacuate Sheridan care facility

06.30.2016 Dean Rhodes Public Safety

SHERIDAN – Grand Ronde Tribal Police and members of the Tribal Emergency Management Team helped out in the evacuation of 35 elderly residents of Sheridan Care Center on Wednesday, June 22.

Sheridan Fire District spokesperson Wesley Rolfson said the residents were evacuated because of the smell of gas in the building at 411 S.E. Sheridan Road. Fourteen residents were moved out before 9 p.m. and another 21 were evacuated shortly thereafter.

Residents were temporarily housed at Sheridan High School and Trinity Lutheran Church. The American Red Cross also provided assistance and relief to residents in the form of blankets, coats, snacks and water.

Tribal Emergency Operations Coordinator Steve Warden said the Tribe was placed on stand-by at 9:30 p.m. and sent 21 cots over to Sheridan High School for evacuees. In addition, the gym and the Grand Ronde Community Emergency Response Team were put on stand-by in case they were needed.

“It went pretty flawlessly,” Warden said. “Because of preparedness, planning and willingness of our Tribal personnel to be good neighbors, these displaced folks were afforded an opportunity to have immediate relief and comfort in what must have been, at best, a frightening situation.”

Tribal Police Officer Tyler Brown, Emergency Operations Administrative Assistant Brandy Bishop and Swing Shift Housekeeping Supervisor Ben Bishop helped transport the cots to Sheridan.

Northwest Natural Gas spokesperson Daphne Mathew said the incident was caused by low pressure in the lines. Northwest Natural inspected the facility and gave permission for residents to return in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 23.

Mathew added that a loss of pressure in the lines knocked out service to about 1,400 customers in the Sheridan and Willamina area. A cause has not been determined.

“It seems that all of the recent training and drills paid off,” Warden said.

Includes information from the Yamhill County News Register