CAP practices search & rescue training -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

CAP practices search & rescue training

July 31, 2004

Douglas- Saturday teens from all over the state gathered in Douglas to become an active search team in three days of practice missions.

"The first simulated exercise is a crop duster. I believe it's yellow with a blue stripe. We've got the numbers and all to look for it. It was supposedly in a field this morning, and when he went to pull up on the tree lines, he didn't clear the tree lines," explains Senior Member, Terri Cater.

The mission may be simulated, but these Civil Air Patrolmen must treat it as if it were real life. The flight team uses the electronic locator transmission signal from the downed airplane to find wreck site and lead the ground team to its location where they arrive just minutes later.

"The ground team members set up a line search, and then they will just start searching for the ELT, for the parts of the airplane, and people."

"Right as the airplane got the signal, we were here. It took us a little bit just traveling time, but we got here in a quick manner and found the victim real quick," says Cadet Captain Mason Cater.

That speed can mean all the difference when it comes to assessing victims and getting them medical attention.

Beyond preparing them for the real thing, members say the training teaches them important life lessons.

"We set our standards above everybody else, and if you plan on going into the military, or even if you don't, this is a good thing. It makes you become a leader, and that's needed everywhere," says Captain. Cater.

This is the first Civil Air Patrol training mission ever held in South Georgia. Cadets must complete at least two before becoming members of an actual search and rescue team.

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