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Priority 1 Air Rescue Provides Advanced Helicopter SAR Training for North Carolina State Highway Patrol

4th December 2009 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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Priority 1 Air Rescue has completed Inland SAR training with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) which included initial Class B External Rotorcraft Load and Helicopter Short-Haul Rescue in their recently acquired Bell 407. 

Completion of Priority 1 Air Rescue’s Advanced Mission training syllabus provides NCSHP with the capability to conduct remote access insertion of law enforcement officers to conduct counter drug/eradication and tactical missions, helicopter Search and Rescue for stranded or injured civilians, and provide flood and post-hurricane disaster relief rescue operations.
Priority 1 Air Rescue Lead Instructor, Craig Tavares stated, “the leadership and professionalism exhibited from both the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Raleigh Fire Department show a strong example of effective emergency service interoperability and support for the Helicopter Search and Rescue operations”.

This was more evident during training as remnants of Tropical Storm “Ida” blended with an area of low pressure off the North Carolina coast, bringing several inches of rain and flash flood watches throughout the state. Both the NCSHP and the Raleigh Fire Task Force 8 Personnel quickly obtained a better “appreciation of the conditions that they will most likely be called upon to perform rescues of victims in flood affected areas.”

NCSHP Pilots received Part 133 Class B Rotorcraft External Load flight training by a Priority 1 Air Rescue Bell 407 Class B/D Certified Flight Instructor. Inland SAR Scenario training culminates all 9 modules provided in the training syllabus and tested both NCSHP and Raleigh Fire Rescue’s clinical judgment and SAR mission capabilities while placing them in a controlled challenging situation.

Priority 1 Air Rescue Instructor Bob Watson states “Our SAR scenarios integrated the proper use of rescue and fall restraint equipment with all rescue skills acquired and practiced during training while additionally combining systematic SAR mission planning from the beginning to the mission end – this further built up their confidence and trust in each other’s capabilities in responding to future called upon SAR cases.”

NCSHP selected Priority 1 Air Rescue among the competition due to several factors, Priority 1 Air Rescue’s Part 133 Class D Training Courses are FAA approved, and exceed the NIMS Functional/Operational requirements, and meets and exceeds existing Fire Service requirements.

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