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    OK Guard, Task Force-1 conduct swift water hoist training



    Story by Sgt. Brian Schroeder 

    Oklahoma National Guard

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, alongside members of the Tulsa, Verdigris, Norman and Oklahoma City Fire Departments, conducted a joint training mission in swift water rescue operations at the Oklahoma River Nov. 1.

    Collectively known as Task Force-1, the combined unit of Oklahoma Army National Guard aviation Soldiers and Oklahoma Firemen from around the state, used UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota helicopters to hover, drop in and hoist simulated victims at the Oklahoma RIVERSPORT Complex in Oklahoma City.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rachel Deal, UH-72 Lakota pilot with Det. 1, Charlie Company, 3rd of the 140th Security and Support Aviation Regiment, said when the team is called up to assist during natural disaster relief efforts, they rely heavily on their experience and continued training to complete the mission.

    “Anytime there is flooding, and with the recent hurricanes, you’re going to have either swift water or standing water,” Deal said. “Sometimes the best way to get people out is to come in with a helicopter and extract them and not put anyone else in danger.”

    Members of Task Force-1 were called upon to assist with swift water search and rescue efforts in North Carolina immediately following Hurricane Florence in September. Josh Pearcy, Task Force-1 lead rescue swimmer and Oklahoma City fireman said the training the unit conducts was extremely beneficial for the nine days the team spent assisting with rescue efforts.

    “We did live missions and live hoisting people and pets from rooftops and out of the water with some similar water conditions as we have here today,” Pearcy said. “We are able to recreate some of the real-world events we have had in the training environment here [at RIVERSPORT].




    Date Taken: 11.01.2018
    Date Posted: 11.13.2018 11:29
    Story ID: 298854
    Location: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US 

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