September 23, 2014 - 1:25 PM
VERNON - Vernon Search and Rescue is taking its skill set to all new heights.
The unit is launching a ground-breaking, two-year pilot project to test out an operation known as the Helicopter Winch Rescue. The procedure is used around the world, as well as inby the Canadian Coast Guard, the military and specialized emergency crews, but Vernon will be the first volunteer Search and Rescue unit in the country capable of performing the tactic.
Unit spokesperson Trevor Honigman says the ability will be a huge asset to the region.
“This is a great step for Vernon Search and Rescue and an amazing leap forward for Search and Rescue throughout Canada. Once the playbook is written for Helicopter Winch Rescue, it’s going to save a lot of lives throughout our nation,” Honigman says.
Trained members will travel to the scene by helicopter and deploy by cable directly to the subject. They can recover multiple subjects in a single hover and provide precise medical treatment to victims while flying to a hospital or waiting ambulance. A number of Vernon members are getting specially trained to perform this rescue, Honigman says.
“The Vernon Search and Rescue has been adding capabilities over the past 50 years,” Honigman says, noting members are qualified for rope rescues, swift water operations and diving, among other techniques. “The Helicopter Winch Rescue is the next logical step in order to get those capabilities directly to the place the actual individual needs them.”
You can see the Helicopter Winch Rescue operation for yourself this Saturday at a live demonstration. The event will take place at Spicer Field on the Coldstream Ranch, near the Vernon Search And Rescue Headquarters, located at 9850 Aberdeen Road. Access and parking will be available from Aberdeen Road off Highway 6. The location will be marked by posted signs.
An opening presentation is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the demonstration for 2:20 p.m. A demo of medical capabilities is set for 3 p.m.
Credit: Vernon Search and Rescue
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