Safety Library

Safety Library

The Allard and Casey Memorial Safety Library

On November 5, 1995, U of O students Frank Allard and Michael Casey were caught in an early winter blizzard while backpacking and climbing on a private trip in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon’s central Cascades. As a result of whiteout conditions, they failed in their attempt to return to their base camp, and succumbed in the storm.

The Allard and Casey Memorial Safety Library was created by the UO Outdoor Program and the Associated Students of the University of Oregon in response to this tragic accident. This Library makes a variety of state-of-the-art wilderness safety and rescue gear available for the use of the student body at no cost.

General Safety Philosophy

The goal of the Memorial Library is to make outdoor safety equipment available to U of O students in order to lessen the risks inherent in wilderness travel. Ultimately, safety is the responsibility of the individual and to a lesser extent, the group the individual is a part of. Each individual and group must take advantage of all resources available in order to make safe decisions in high risk outdoor activities.

Those resources include personal outdoor skills and experience, proper equipment, common sense and good judgment, careful planning, weather awareness, and much more. The safety and rescue equipment available from this library can at best serve as only one small part of a total safety effort. One should never make a decision whose success counts on the usability, accuracy, or effectiveness of any electronic equipment! This means that you should not undertake an activity with electronic aids that you would not undertake without those aids. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because you have an electronic aid with you!


The gear is available for any UO student or Outdoor Program participant to use on outdoor adventure activities. There is no charge for any of the gear, although any cell phone use must be reimbursed. Users are also responsible for any loss or damage.


If you are planning an outdoor adventure and wish to take advantage of the Library, stop by the Outdoor Program a few days beforehand to learn about what is available, and begin to familiarize yourself with the technology. The Outdoor Program is located at 1225 E 18th Ave on the corner of 18th and University.

The Gear

PLBs (personal locator beacons)

PLBs (personal locator beacons) are for personal use and are intended to indicate a person is in distress. Once activated a signal is sent to emergency services; e.g., 9-1-1

VHF Radios

VHF radios are exclusively for use while on the water, primarily sea kayaking and sailing. They have a range of between 15-30 miles, and are very useful for obtaining marine weather forecasts, for communicating with the Coast Guard and with other boats.

GPS Units

Garmin Global Positioning System units are available for use as navigational aids in wilderness travel. Utilizing satellites, the system is accurate to within 300′. It’s most common use in backcountry travel is to aid a traveler in returning to a particular point, such as camp or the car. They are also extensively used in sailing.

Avalanche Transceivers

Ortovox F1 transceivers are available to aid in locating persons buried by avalanches. A video is available for training purposes. Selection of a safe route and observing avalanche warnings are your best ways of avoiding a avalanche in the first place. Few persons survive being buried by an avalanche, even if found quickly through the use of a transceiver.

Avalanche Probes and Shovels

Both sectional probes and lightweight shovels are available. This equipment is essential in addition to the transceivers for locating and extracting persons buried by snow.

Books and Videos

A wide variety of instructional videos and books are available at the Library. Topics include mountain rescue, avalanche awareness, river rescue, GPS instruction, and wilderness first aid to mention a few. The materials are available on a reference room basis. A copy machine is located at the Library.

Allard and Casey Memorial Safety Library Sponsors

The following companies have graciously assisted the Memorial Library through discounts and donations.

  • Garmin International Garmin GPS 38 units
  • Standard Communications HX250 VHF radios
  • Ortovox F1 Avalanche transceivers
  • Duracell AA batteries
  • Eagle Creek Equipment containers
  • REI, Inc Books and Videos