Winter Emergency Drills

Preparing for action
BENNER TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY  -  An aggressive effort was under way in Centre County today to make sure  some  emergency responders  are ready to take part in a  sub-zero rescue.  All sorts of emergency response crews converged on the Benner Spring State Fish Hatchery today to practice the techniques needed for winter rescues.
What set this training exercise apart was the use of a helicopter and that the expertise of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.   Crews involved in the training were braving some very difficult and cold winter conditions to practice the techniques needed for a water rescue in sub-zero conditions.
Also taking part were representatives of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Fish and Boat Commission and a number of local emergency response teams.   Organizers of the effort say practicing their rescue techniques in all sorts of environmental conditions will keep them ready to respond to actual emergencies in the future.

"So today we are kind of putting these two practices together.   The military and the civilian to go ahead and make sure that we have our tactics, techniques and procedures done so that if we were called to do a rescue, in sub zero temperatures, we can go ahead and from this experience and training environment we can go ahead and put the proper procedures to make sure there are rescue technicians, our emergency responders   and air crews are safe in these kind of elements."  

 Because so many different state and local agencies would be involved in a rescue like the one practiced today, organizers of this  training say  its invaluable to  bring   the different teams   together and make sure they are all on the same page, long before a real emergency situation develops.

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