Mock drill calls for helicopters, boats

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 03:34 PM

The Vance County emergency operations director wants people to know ahead of time that a massive, full-scale search and rescue exercise will take place Friday morning and afternoon on Kerr Lake.

“We do want to remind people that this is an exercise,” Brian Short said. “We don’t need people calling 911 and overloading the operations center.”

More than 100 responders from dozens of local, state and federal agencies — including the military — will participate.

The exercise scenario involves a large commercial passenger plane that has crashed into Kerr Lake.

There will be multiple victims, many of whom must be rescued from the water.

Short said the event will test the departments ability to work together during a massive search and rescue effort involving a large body of water.

He said the mock drill will have many active elements, including five helicopters performing hover and rescue activities and nearly two dozen boats from various agencies.

But the airplane fuselage — or the main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo — will be simulated with a floating dock system, which can be assembled in pieces.

“That is what the victims will be rescued off of,” he said.

He said a dive rescue is not scheduled to take place, unless a real emergency situation happens.

The exercise will be at Henderson Point State Recreation Area, 1427 Rev. Henderson Road, on Friday and will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

The mock drill will only affect the day area and community buildings.

Short said there will be a break at 11:30 a.m. It will resume at 1 p.m. and end no later than 3 p.m.

“The only reason it’s being broken up into two sections is because we have to refuel,” he said.

Short said the public could observe from afar.

“They will be able to see what they can from outside our controlled perimeter,” he said.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.