State Police and WTG Technical Rescue Training with Helicopters

May 28th, 2013 - On Tuesday the Virginia State Police and the Wintergreen Technical Rescue Team trained for a few hours practicing various scenarios. Members of Montebello Fire & Rescue as well as a few members of the Lynchburg Fire Department also participated.

Wintergreen and Montebello share resources along the 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail which passes through their respective run areas. A few of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue part-time employees are full-time employees of Lynchburg Fire.

A number of different skills were sharpened during the day. The helicopter arrived with multiple pilots. They too were looking for training opportunities and the ridge-top landing zones at Wintergreen can provide conditions which, while certainly are not unique, are challenging.

The first scenario simulated what is needed for the helicopter to touch a skid down on the roof of a vehicle trapped in swift water. If you watch this video (download HERE) closely you will notice that only one skid touches the ground. The pilot held the front of the right skid on the ground while a member of our team boarded the helicopter. Next the helicopter would fly a quick loop and then do it all over again. 

The second scenario involved a "jungle extractor." As the name would imply, this device is lowered through a small opening in a tree canopy to lift a patient and provider in a seated position. 

The third scenario involved hoists using the standard "Stokes Basket" in a horizontal rig.

Throughout all scenarios communications between the ground crew, the hoist operator, and the pilot were critical. No failures were noted. It was a good day!

The Tech Rescue Team of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue would like to thank everyone involved in our bi-monthly training.

Helicopter basket prep