On May 19, 2019, our 21-year-old daughter Michelle Casey was with a friend at the Neahkahnie Mt. overlook. She slipped and lost her balance, falling over 100 feet and suffering traumatic injuries. Members of the Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue responded and their rope rescue team rappelled down to her and her friend who had free-climbed down to her. It was an extremely dangerous situation and it took over two hours to bring them both up. Despite the intense efforts to save her life, our girl did not survive. We lost her that night.
As her family, we don't want anyone else to ever go through this same tragic experience, so we asked what we could do to help both the Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue team and their neighbors to the north, Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue. The Fire Chief at Nehalem came up with a list of 3 vital resources that could help them get to a patient faster, more securely, and more efficiently.
#1- A rescue system that can be hauled in via a backpack, allowing the first responders to be able to get to someone quickly and safely. This will be called a "Casey Kit" in Michelle's memory.
#2- Additional training for new members of the team- Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue is still building their rope rescue response and training is both vital and expensive.
#3- A tactical drone. This is a specific request from Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue. A drone would have made a huge impact on the response time when Michelle fell. The team was going in blind, and a drone would have given them the ability to find her and her friend quickly as well as map out a safe route. The type of drone they are looking at also has thermal imaging sensors and enough power to carry a life jacket or a line to someone that is stranded or in the water.
Cannon Beach's Fire Chief also shared that much of their vital rescue equipment is over 20 years old and desperately in need of replacement.
To fulfill these needs we are asking you to help us reach our goal. These funds will be distributed to both fire districts as they work closely together to keep everyone safe. The Oregon Coast, for all its beauty, can be a dangerous place and we want to make it just a little safer. We can do that with your help.
Our sweet Michelle had a heart as warm as her smile. She always put others first and we know she would be so thrilled to be a part of this. Please help us honor her and save other's lives by donating today.
- Emily Van Vleck
- Lynn Davis
- Brian Burke