Members of the Dashwood and Bow Horn Bay fire departments team and Canadian Forces 435 Squadron search and rescue crew members assist a “victim” during a joint training exercise near Meadowood Friday.

Hercules flexes muscles in Dashwood

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department and Canadian Armed Forces team up for training exercise

  • Jul. 21, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The Dashwood Fire Department got some high-powered help with a training exercise last week when a Canadian Forces CF130 Hercules Aircraft teamed with local members in a joint operation near the Meadowood Fire Station.

The exercise simulated a downed aircraft with eight passengers aboard, and involved 12 Dashwood Fire Department members, a simulated B.C. Ambulance and crew from the Canadian Forces 435 Squadron from Winnipeg.

The 435 Squadron Hercules was tasked with locating the “downed” aircraft and dropping an emergency radio so that survivors could communicate their needs to the crew.

While Dashwood Fire Department members accessed the scene by ground, a pair of search and rescue technicians (SARTECHs) parachuted from the big plane.

“Our members took part both as passengers and rescuers,” said Nick Acciavatti, Dashwood Fire Chief. “Once the passengers made contact with the aircraft, the C130 was able to drop two SARTECHs to parachute into the crash scene. By this time our members had started to access the scene and the injured passengers.

“Our members and the SARTECHs were able to move the passengers to a safe location and to the simulated B.C. Ambulance crews.”

The exercise lasted approximately two hours, and included two members of the Bow Horn Bay Fire Department in what Acciavatti described as a “truly amazing training opportunity.”

—Submitted by Dashwood FD

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