Mock search, rescue drill completed
Volunteers with the Depew, Alden and Crittenden Fire Departments, Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC), Depew and Lancaster Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) took part in the inter-agency drill to rescue two possible victims of an all-terrain ATV accident.
Public Information Officer Todd Rzeszutek explained at 6:45 p.m., the Depew Fire Department received an anonymous call regarding two victims in the wooded area north of the Depew Ice Rink, 90 Gould Ave. The area, bounded by Transit Road and Walden Avenue, is 95 acres in size. The location of the victims was unknown; however one victim was said to be injured and pinned under the ATV.
The OEM set up a grid search, a technique used to break the area up into quadrants, to be executed by five teams of 10 involving all agencies. The goals for the teams included teaching basic search and rescue techniques while locating and rescuing the victims in a safe work environment.
“Were trying to impress upon the public to educate them to ready themselves and understand the capabilities of what we can do,” Edward Gutowksi, OEM team leader and planning officer said. “The best team is having people trained in multiple areas.”
After 32 minutes from the beginning of the search, the first victim was found with an ankle injury. The LVAC and Lancaster OEM were dispatched to the victim utilizing two all-terrain vehicles. The second victim was found after 43 minutes with no apparent injuries and walked out of the wooded area with the search team.
“It was interesting, there’s a lot to go through,” Heather Holtz, a volunteer in the drill remarked. “I did it because you’re looking for someone that needs help. I did it for the community.”
Volunteers with the Depew, Alden and Crittenden Fire Departments, Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps (LVAC), Depew and Lancaster Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) took part in the inter-agency drill Tuesday night.