Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

September 26, 2013

Learning about search, rescue

ANDY GOODELL
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Hidden within 220 acres of the Russell Wildlife Area north of Oskaloosa were dummies in need of rescue.

A search and rescue drill was conducted Monday evening at Russell Wildlife Area. Entities involved with the training exercise included Mahaska County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Mahaska County Conservation Board, New Sharon Fire Department and the Mahaska County Sheriff’s reserves.

Jamey Robinson, director of the Mahaska County Emergency Management Agency, said those participating in the training would be sent out into the wooded area as if a juvenile had actually been lost there.

The timing of this particular training was good. Robinson noted that the Mahaska County Conservation Board would host their annual Outdoor Field Day at Russell Wild Life area this coming weekend.

“This weekend, they’re actually doing their Outdoor Field Day and they’ll have lots of kids here,” explained Robinson.

Cooperation between those entities involved in the training is key. Robinson said this would be crucial in the event of a real missing person situation at Russell Wildlife Area. He said it would help individuals understand how others would handle the situation, should it arise.

After a quick overview of their plan of action, those involved in Monday’s training got down to the task of finding dummies placed somewhere at Russell Wildlife Area.

Robinson said at the conclusion of the training there would be a period where they would examine what worked and what didn’t during the course of the search and rescue training.

Before the training got underway, Robinson said they may find out that additional tools or equipment would be needed during an actual search and rescue.