HELENA – The Montana Army National Guard teamed up with the Elkhorn Search and Rescue at Fort Harrison this week, for joint search and rescue training.
The two teams practiced helicopter evacuations for injured people and hosted search and rescue team members.
Aviation Officer, James Wilkins, said that the Guard will work with many different state and local agencies in an emergency.
Wilkins stated, “We have our Medivac aircraft and our Medivac crews here in the state and we work hand-in-hand with the different counties, law enforcement, sheriff’s offices and search and rescues…”
Crews worked together for hours, going through every detail from seat belt safety to how to approach the large aircraft.
Wilkins continued, “For several reasons, safety for those individuals for those who are not used to being around these air crafts and also the training side, the training aspect for our paramedics and our aircrews are outstanding.”
Not only did Elkhorn volunteers have to learn to fly, but so did their search and rescue dogs.
Wilkins added that the training helps protect those within the community across the state in case they find themselves in a tricky situation.
“The training we do together enables us to work together to support the community and the individuals for the state of Montana if they do get in trouble,” said Wilkins.
The training took several hours but was successful despite high winds for all volunteers and soldiers, including the dogs.
-Christine Sullivan reporting for MTN News