Royal Canadian Air Force personnel and search and rescue specialists from across Canada participated in an annual national search and rescue exercise, SAREX 2016, held in Yellowknife Sept. 19 to 24.
Involving nearly 200 participants, the training brought together the Canadian Armed Forces with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) and other first responders to standardize and evaluate skills. The exercises included aerial and ground searches, medical responses, parachute accuracy, and land and marine rescues. On the last day of SAREX 2016 a medical exercise saw faux-casualties airlifted by Chinook helicopter and placed in the area behind the airstrip to simulate a mid-air collision.
After participating in this event I have no doubt that should an air disaster occur that the casualties would be well taken care of. Used in the medical care and evacuation process were a Cormorant helicopter, a Griffon helicopter, a Twin Otter and a Hercules.
The skills CASARA Yukon members brought back to their member organizations were invaluable. It is important that our members keep their skills up throughout the year and our training will help us do that.
CASARA Yukon would like to thank Air North for their contribution flying one of our members to Yellowknife for SAREX 2016. Yukon is seldom able to participate in these events due to cost and distance. CASARA was able to fly a crew of three in a private aircraft, however the fourth member could not fly with them due to weight restrictions.
Air North graciously offered to fly the fourth crew member to Yellowknife and return to participate in this week-long exercise. Thank you Air North. Because of your contribution our members came home with skills that will help us search for future missing aircraft and assisting people on the ground should an incident ever occur here in the Yukon.