SRT Helicopters, the worldâ€™s leading provider of high risk rotorcraft operational training, recently completed two training courses with members of the San Antonio Fire Departmentâ€™s Medical Special Operations Unit (MSOU).Â Following the basic courses (Basic Rescue Swimmer training and Basic Short Haul Rescue training), SRT Helicopters conducted real world training in both open water and mountainous terrain.
â€œThe latter training sessions were conducted in challenging weather conditions which included freezing temperatures and snow flurries,â€ said Lt. Robert Dugie. â€œThis part of the training was extremely realistic in every aspect and was invaluable for us as a team working with another city agency. The instructors from SRT really challenged us not only in our rescue skills, but also in our use of the Incident Command System and to expect the unexpected. At the end of the day it was clear to all of us that the SRT Instructors were top notch in their respective disciplines, and were really able to bring that experience into both the classroom and practical exercises. In a word it was AWESOME!â€
The Medical Special Operations Unit (MSOU) is a team of highly-trained, experienced paramedics, who provide advanced medical or trauma life support in situations and environments beyond the range of standard EMS units. These include Weapons of Mass Destruction events, tactical/medical rescue for SWAT operations, hazardous materials exposure, and helicopter rescue operations. The MSOU is staffed and equipped to handle multi-casualty or large-scale incidents, and can assist or oversee areas of triage, treatment, and transport, including the decontamination of affected personnel.
The training sessions for members of the MSOU team started with Shallow Water Egress training (SWET) provided by instructors from both Survival Systems USA and SRT Helicopters. The SWET course focused on basic procedures used to egress a ditched aircraft, proper brace positions, emergency exit jettisoning and cabin evacuation, EBS equipment characteristics (HABD, HEEDS or SEA Mk 1.5), hazards and physiology of breathing compressed air, preflight inspection, clearing procedures, and egress considerations.
SRT Instructors also provided instruction in the various water and helicopter rescue devices, how to rescue and extricate victims from the water, and scene management and organization utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS).
According to Christian Gadbois, President and CEO of SRT Helicopters, â€œ The second SRT Helicopters course for MSOU, Short Haul Rescue Training, is an emergency rescue toolÂ designed to quickly retrieve an individual out of a dangerous situation and place them in a safe location. Short-Haul involves a rescuer being lowered on a rope from a hovering helicopter to the victim below. After the rescuer rigs a harness to the victim, or, if injuries warrant, places the victim in a Stokes basket or similar device, the helicopter then lifts both to safety a short distance away.â€
Gadbois has been involved with training for more than twenty years and is currently a voting member of the Helicopter Association International Training Committee.Â He is also a frequent speaker for organizations such as the Airborne Law Enforcement Association, Air Medical and Rescue Conference, Texas Governorâ€™s Office of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Helicopter Association International.
SRT Helicopters, based in Bakersfield, California, is a full service helicopter company that specializes in providing high risk operational services and training for private business; military, and local, state, and federal agencies.Â SRTâ€™s training staff is comprised of working professionals who regularly respond to real-world missions, which ensures that the companyâ€™s training methods and curriculum are current, relevant, and designed to address real-life operational scenarios.Â SRT training is customized to meet each customerâ€™s specific mission requirements, which may include initial and recurrent pilot training; CRM/human factors for aircrew and management personnel; technical rescue training, including hoist operations and maintenance; incident management and incident command training; special operations, including airborne use of force; and operations in austere environments.
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