Local ground and air Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers wrapped up a training exercise last week that included military support on April 18-19.
The training exercise, simulating the steps required to locate a small aircraft crash site, consisted of ground volunteers laying out a mock site with complete with victims requiring medical attention.
The simulation started with the deployment of an Emergency Locating Transmitter, which initiated the tasking of a local Provincial Emergency Preparedness (PEP) Air Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) aircraft to home in on the beacon, find it’s specific location and evaluate the crash site.
Once the PEP CASARA aircraft found the location, the information was relayed to a CC-130 Hercules, which homed in on the area and dropped supplies and emergency personnel by parachute.
The volunteers on the ground acting as the victims were treated for their injuries by the military SARTechs and transported by ground to medical facilities.
At the completion of the simulation, the Hercules aircraft landed at the Canadian Rockies International Airport to retrieve their SARTech crews and returned to Calgary.
The same exercise was repeated the next day on April 19, however, the Hercules experienced some mechanical issues and suspended it’s part halfway through the simulation.
Prior to the mechanical issues, another PEP Air – CASARA aircraft had located the position of the ELT and evaluated the crash site before returning to base.
Louise Shynuk, a volunteer with Cranbrook CASARA, said the exercise was very helpful for local ground and air SAR organizations to build co-operative resources that help locate lost individuals in the area more quickly and efficiently.