Practice useful for Comox Valley rescuers

Emergency response personnel gathered at the Puntledge River Campground Tuesday evening for a joint training exercise.

MEMBERS OF THE Courtenay Fire Department

Members of the Courtenay Fire Department, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue and 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron gathered at the Puntledge River Campground Tuesday evening for a joint training exercise.

Members were able to observe and participate in a simulated rescue following a landing and takeoff by a Cormorant helicopter from CFB Comox.

“With the events that have been happening here over the last little while … we’re just getting practice. We’ve never dealt with 442 and the Cormorant … and what it’s like to actually work with a helicopter,” said Fire Chief Don Bardonnex of Courtenay. “The danger zones … the amount of downdraft generated and where our guys are safe and where they are not.”

Paul Berry, search manager and president of CVGSAR, added there are a number of plans in place where all three agencies would work together, most likely in a river event.

“One of the challenging areas often is communication, so this is a great opportunity for us to test to see that we can all communicate together,” he added.


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