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.