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Mock crash helps with search, rescue response

Civil Air Patrol aircraft on the ramp at Bowman Regional Airport.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft on the ramp at Bowman Regional Airport.

Bruce Halleen and Michele Gaylord plotting SAR Unit movements in the emergency operations center trailer.
Bruce Halleen and Michele Gaylord plotting SAR Unit movements in the emergency operations center trailer.

All in the name of preparedness.

Members from the Bowman, Slope and Adams County Emergency Management, the Bowman and Rhame Fire Departments, the Bowman County Ambulance Service, ND Disaster Emergency Services and the Civil Air Patrol participated in a simulated search and rescue for a downed aircraft last weekend on Saturday June 4.

This simulation provided training in communications, search and rescue techniques and mutual aid coordinated response.  The exercise and training presented a scenario of a downed aircraft with survivors that had to be located and then physically rescued and removed from the field.  A base of operations was set up in the Badlands north of Marmarth and aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol were based and flew out of the new Bowman Airport.

A total of four aircraft from Grand Forks, Fargo, Bismarck and Dickinson provided the air portion of the exercise.   A mobile communications and repeater trailer from NDDES in Bismarck provided communications support.  Bowman/Slope Emergency Management provided their mobile Emergency Operations Trailer for mission coordination and control and local volunteers and firemen provided UTV off-road vehicles and personnel for the search and rescue.

The exercise was deemed a success by the participants and plans are in the works to conduct a follow-up exercise, designed around the lessons learned from this exercise, sometime in the next year.