Search and Rescue: training for excellence

Autor: Jan Jindra, Oldrich Holecek

A two-day joint military and civilian rescue exercise conducted the scenario of saving lives of skiers and evacuation from a blocked ski chairlift in the Sumava Mountains last week.

Flight personnel of the 243rd Helicopter Squadron based at Prague-Kbely trained lifesaving and evacuation from hardly accessible areas on a ski slope in the Sumava Mountains – the Bohemian Forest.

Together with air rescue teams from the Pilsen-Line base and civilian personnel of the Integrated Rescue System of the Pilsen region, they used two W-3A Sokol Search and Rescue helicopters to find “injured” skiers and hoist persons from a blocked chairlift.

“Being experienced is a good basis, but you still need to drill rescue procedures regularly to keep the necessary skills fresh,” said Captain Petr Safarik, Commander of the 4th Flight, 243rd Helicopter Squadron, praising the difficult meteorological conditions, especially the sudden weather changes on the first training day.

The Military Search and Rescue service logs about 500 helicopter sorties a year to save people’s lives and health nationwide. It closely cooperates with the personnel of the Integrated Rescue System of the Czech Republic.

February 25, 2014