National Guard Trains for Search and Rescue During Flooding Natural Disaster
The National Guard participated in a statewide disaster exercise and one of the sites for the training was at Fort Buhlow Recreation area in Pineville. ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey shows us how the guard is preparing for hurricane season.
Sergeant Corey Brumfield is training National Guardsmen on water rescue in trucks at the Fort Buhlow Recreation area in an effort to be ready for search and rescue operations during a natural disaster.
“I think this just puts more knowledge in the soldiers’ minds on what to do, how to be prepared as far as answering to any situation and any circumstance, they’ll know what to do and operate to the best of their ability.”
The National Guard is using the Red River to simulate rising flood waters for search and rescue operations by both helicopter and boat.
Brigadier General Thomas Friloux describes one of the operations the guard is working on.
“One of the missions we’re working on today is hoisting operations for rescue. If we have a stranded citizen in flooded waters or any bad situation one of our helicopters with a hoist goes to that location picks up the individual and brings them to a lily pad for further evaluation.”
Another helicopter crew trains on lifting and transporting sandbags.
“In a situation like a levee break we can use those helicopters to pick up very big sandbags and fill in the breach that can’t be done through land.”
Friloux says they’re training to be ready in the field for an actual emergency.
“When we got to do the actual mission you don’t want it to be the first time you’re doing that particular mission during the operation. So we’re training on using our helicopters using our boat teams using our trucks specifically to rescue that way when the mission comes, if it happens one day in this hurricane season, we’ve already done it before, we’ve figured it out and we know what to do.”
Brumfield says he enjoys training exercises like this and being a part of the National Guard, day in and day out.
“I feel great. I enjoy putting this uniform on every day. I love doing it. My wife and my daughter they see me. There goes daddy he’s going out the door. He’s going to do something. So, it’s a blessing. It’s an honor. It’s a real honor and a privilege to wear this uniform and put in on.”
The National Guard also trained on disaster response at five other sites across the state.