new JOHNSONVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team joined forces together with Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency along with other state and local first responders in an exercise of search and rescue that was a joint exercise on Oct. 19 in Kentucky Lake.
The exercise, which was led by the Humphrey’s County EMA, integrated land water, air, and land equipment from the participating departments. In addition, the Tennessee National Guard provided a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, crewmembers as well as hoist operators. In addition, the Nashville Fire Department provided specialized aerial water rescue divers. Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency was responsible for water security as well as Humphreys County EMA provided command and control of the exercise.
“Because due to the COVID-19 epidemic it has been difficult for us to be in a position to get together and perform emergency procedures in a larger way,” said Amanda Hite, Humphreys County Deputy Emergency Manager. “I am extremely happy that we had the opportunity to train today as it helps us not just to integrate with each other but also helps us recognize our strengths and areas where we can grow.”
The event took place in Kentucky Lake, next to the Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park It was a simulated civilian boat accident that required immediate, multi-agency search and rescue actions. The TN-HART team was trained to rescue two drowning victims in a simulated scenario by dropping specially designed water-rescue Nashville firefighters from 70 feet down into the water that was near freezing. The firefighter secured the victim in a simulation in the water while Tennessee National Guard crewmembers hoisted the victim to safeness. In all, the Tennessee-HART team performed four rescue hoists.
“Hoisting over water that is moving makes it more complicated to perform an already risky procedure,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 J.J. Spradling, who was the pilot of the aircraft. “It calls for us to perform the maneuver at a lower, higher altitude, which creates a lot of room for error. It is essential that to practice these techniques frequently alongside our partner agencies to keep our skills up to date.”
The Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team is a multiagency collaboration between Nashville Fire Department, the Tennessee Army National Guard and the Nashville Fire Department. Each member of the team was given specialized training in order to be able to perform such rescues.
The Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team joined forces together with Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency along with other state and local first responders in the joint search and rescue exercise October. 19 at Kentucky Lake. (Photo from Capt. Kealy Moriarty)
The Tennessee National Guard’s 2-30th Air Assault Battalion gather with Humphreys County first responders after the joint search and rescue drill on Oct. 19, at Kentucky Lake. (Photo from Capt. Kealy Moriarty)
The Tennessee Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team collaborated in conjunction with Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency along with other state and local first responders in an exercise of search and rescue drill in October. 19 in Kentucky Lake. (Photo from Capt. Kealy Moriarty)
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