02/19/2018: “A year’s worth of planning has come to fruitition. We started off the exercise with a para accuracy event that challenged our SAR techs at hitting a marked target.
We moved into Monday where we did a major air disaster exercise where a number of agencies from 8 Wing produced a scenario that really stressed the SAR Techs and our system.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday there were competitions such as the marine event, the medical event in Brantford, and the high angle rescue event that took place in Niagara. Each team honed their skills in those disciplines.
The medical scenario is important and very difficult for search and rescue technicians. It is a stressful environment where they need to have the right medicine, to the right person, at the right time. They had to insert themselves at Brantford into a scenario on a small aircraft accident where they have to corrently perform all their protocols.
The marine event responds to a simulated vessel in distress where they drop a pump to a vessel simulating that is taking on water and one where a sea rescue kit is dropped if there are persons in the water who need to be rescued.
And here we are at the end and it’s been a great exercise so far.
I think the biggest takeaway is communications, communications, communications.
We say this all the time, the closer we can get get to training as we fight, is the closer we can get to better communications. So everyone across agencies, the military and squadrons will take home that lesson. It’s all a direct benefit to Canada and it’s a direct benefit to our confidence.
I would say great job. Most of my squadron resources have been dedicated to this exercise and we have performed very well. There’s always pulls because for Search and Rescue we still have to operate while we are exercising and still be there for the Canadian people.
While the 200 men and women have been here doing this exercise we have still been doing real search and rescue operations elsewhere. They are really doing two jobs at once so I would say, Bravo Zulu! Well done! And I look forward to working with them again in the future.”