Civil Air Search and Rescue Association hosts exercise at Red Deer Airport

Crews from all over Western Canada come out to coordinate rescue efforts

The Red Deer Airport hosted a Western Canada Search and Rescue exercise over the weekend, but plans to fly were cut short due to poor visibility from the smoke.

Despite the weather, crews from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta all came to the airport to take part in the event put on by the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Red Deer zone.

Jim Thoreson, Red Deer zone training officer, said the weekend event was all about practice and coordination between zones and provinces.

“We train and we work on finding the missing person,” he said. “It is as simple as that. If a plane goes down, someone could be laying there hurt. It is our responsibility to get out there as soon as possible.”

According to Thoreson, if visibility was hindered in an actual missing persons situation, they would do their best to get the aircraft off the ground, while still ensuring the safety of the search and rescue crews.

“We would push it as much as we could when we know that someone is laying there hurt,” he said.

Dennis Smith, Red Deer Zone Commander, said the original plan before the weather delayed take off was to have the crews respond to simulated crashes near Sundre and Stettler. There is also 16 other targets that the crews could have responded to.

“If the planes fly, they will hone in on the beacon, land, do a first on-scene and then treat the simulated wounded. They then return and are judged on how they approach the scene and their first-aid technique,” Smith said.

Smith said the training missions teach all the crews to work together.

“Alberta has six zones and we try to get our training as close to each other as we can. Different provinces can have a little different methods, so it’s really important that we can train to work all together,” he said.

He added the crews are practicing their ground training, which is also a crucial part of a search and rescue mission.

“We could take a vehicle and find them on foot if needed,” he said.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Hawk Tail Brewery ready to open doors

New Rimbey business to begin operation

Basketball Battle of Ponoka set for two high schools

Perhaps the first time ever in league, the Ponoka Broncs play against the St. Augustine Kings & Queens

Motorist flees police near Ponoka, escapes on foot

While attempting a traffic stop police say the driver sped off before hitting the ditch

Ponoka residents to see rise in utility rates in 2019

Change to power transmission rider, sewer charges will see cost of living in Ponoka rise

Two overtime victories for the Ponoka Stampeders

Local junior squad resilient in pair of extra time contests this past week

Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971

Adrian Pearce, now a married father of two, received the small present from his highschool sweetheart

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Ponoka News picks its top 10 *animated* Christmas shows

The not-so-scientific list brings a mix of new and classics to the table

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Canadian community rallies behind hundreds who lost their jobs ahead of holidays

ServiCom facility closure in Nova Scotia was announced Thursday, following weeks of pay delays

Canada seeking new members of anti-coal alliance at climate meeting

Poland relies on coal for almost 80 per cent of its electricity, more than double the global average

Shoppers Drug Mart granted licence to sell medical marijuana online

Shoppers was granted a medical marijuana producer licence in September, after applying in October 2016

Most Read