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2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:44 am
by airboat4fun
Howdy Y'all, I been away from SA for a little while, I been waaaayyy tooo busy trying to hang on to my job, keep my house, and raising my lil'critters with southern values. This is some of what I was up to.
Here's a little somethin' I submited to a magazine last year...

Search & Rescue Training in the
FLORIDA EVERGLADES
story and pictures by Randy - Airboat4fun@SouthernAirboat.com



The Florida Everglades are one of the largest wetland habitats on the planet. Most of the area is so remote that you can only access it with a swamp buggy, airboat, or helicopter. The Conservation Areas that we, the public, have for recreation (hunting, fishing, frogging, etc…) cover over 670,000 acres in 3 counties. In case of emergency there are several agencies that may need to respond.

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The Broward County Fire Rescue department recently arranged for a multi-jurisdictional training exercise. Participants included rescue agencies from Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, and Volunteers from the Broward Airboat Club, and THE on-line airboat club, SouthernAirboat.com

The day started with a briefing for rescue personnel and volunteers at the boat ramp near Broward County’s new Fire Rescue Station on Alligator Alley. They established a mobile command center (million $ RV), and communication channels for rescue personnel and VHF for volunteers with a “Code” to break into communications if a real emergency were to happen during the training.
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The scenario… a local airboater called 911 for help with a medical “Emergency” while airboating in the Everglades, he said they were near “Possum Head”.
The “Target Area” was in Conservation Area 3a South.-“Possum Head” is a natural tree island, used as a landmark.
First the Broward rescue helicopter located the “Emergency”, and gave GPS coordinates to the ground crew. The Broward rescue helicopter crew hovered over the airboat and lowered a rope with an “Emergency Bag” . (Which included such items as water, food, first-aid, medicine, etc…) Next to arrive was the Broward airboat crew. They are firefighters/paramedics on a custom built airboat equipped like an ambulance, Their job is to give medical care or remove people when necessary .

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Next the Miami-Dade rescue helicopter located the “Emergency”, hovering over, lowered rescue personnel on a cable, and then lowered “the basket” to airlift “the victim” from the airboat.

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The last scenario was a “Grid Search”. All the agency and volunteer airboats lined up 10-15 feet apart and went straight across the marsh in a straight line, to search a specific area. With all the airboats that showed up that day we covered about ¼ mile in a single pass. It was an impressive sight.

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After the training the Broward Fire Rescue invited everyone back to the rest area for hamburgers and hot dogs. I had taken the day off from work and was already in the Everglades with my airboat and my son, so I was going to make the most of it. We took off to “the Microwave Tower” one of the most beautiful, and remote places I know, for some fishing, swimming, and a great day of airboating…
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Knowing that if there was an actual emergency our local rescue departments had the equipment and the training necessary to respond if needed.

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 3:52 pm
by Doc Holliday
Randy:

Nice post.....been wondering what you've been up to.

Between work and the dry conditions, I haven't been out much this year. Let's hope the past week is an indication that the rains have started.

Give me a yell if you're going to be out in 2A....maybe we'll hook up.

Doc

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:35 pm
by JOLLY ROGER
Not to hi-jack your thred Randy,but Doc Holliday I hav'nt heard anything from you in almost a year ! I thought you had moved back to Tombstone ! LOL Welcome back !
Good work Randy.

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:55 pm
by Whitebear
Great Report !

I love training and community support reports. This is what keeps airboating alive. VERY positive public image.

I like the younger folks being involved too.

Super Report !
Thanks

Scotty

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:32 pm
by froggig06
Hey Randy good to see you finally got a break. I haven't seen or heard from you since the kids party. Some good pics. you took there. Let me know when you are ready to do that cage. Hope the kids and wife are doing good. Jason

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:02 pm
by OLD MAN JONES
Good to see you back in action. You did a great job covering the training event that day, I was the guy next to you when they were performing the air rescue simulation (the barefoot guy in the pic of the bird on the ground). It was a pleasure talkin with you out there, you are a great family man. I still want to get one of those lil hammocks for my kids. Keep on keepin on bro.

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:18 am
by av8rnfla
I wish our SO in Indian River & Brevard Counties(FWC too!), would do this kind of training! I know the LEO's that work the marsh would support this. There are a lot of qualified airboaters in our area that would love to assist in a program like this.

Re: 2008 Everglades Airboat Rescue Training

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 11:14 am
by Doc Holliday
JOLLY ROGER wrote:Not to hi-jack your thred Randy,but Doc Holliday I hav'nt heard anything from you in almost a year ! I thought you had moved back to Tombstone ! LOL Welcome back !
Good work Randy.
Thanks Jolly....I've been around, just hadn't had much to add. Let me know when you're bringin' that new boat of yours down south, and we'll try and hook up again.

Doc