Exclusive look at helicopter training for Upstate emergency offi - FOX Carolina 21

Exclusive look at helicopter training for Upstate emergency officials and SC Nat'l Guard

Posted: Updated:
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Four military helicopters took to the sky Thursday. Low flying Black Hawks and Lakotas flew overhead, pulling people to safety within in minutes.

Thankfully, it was only a drill, but it was also part of important training for Upstate emergency responders and the South Carolina National Guard. 

Because these don't happen very often, we consider this a high-risk low frequency event," Greenville County Special Operations, Kevin King said. "But when they do, it's very dangerous for those rescuers."

These training exercises involving helicopter rescue are called SC-HART, South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Team. Pickens County emergency officials will act as victims, stranded in the mountains to understand what it is like to be the shoes of a stranded hiker. These choppers would also be used in the case of severe flooding and other natural disasters. 

"Most people aren't used to being winched up into a helicopter with 200 mile an hour winds, so it helps realize what that patient is going through, and you learn techniques to help calm down that person once you've gone through that situation yourself,"  Pickens County Emergency Management director, Pierce Womack said. 

Womack said there's been an uptick of rescue calls around Table Rock State Park. He said these exercises will help save lives. 

"Our folks responded to Table Rock and used the coordinates that we were given. After several hours of searching, we found him. He slipped off of a roadway and he was standing on a rock ledge. So we called in the HART team," Womack said.

He went on to say the cliff the man was standing on collapsed just a few seconds later.

Pickens County emergency officials said the exercises involve officials from all parts of the Upstate. 

"SC-HART is a collaborative effort between the State Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (SC-TF1) under the direction of S.C. LLR, Office of the State Fire Marshal, S.C. Emergency Management Division, and the Army National Guard Aviation Unit based at McEntire."

Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Fox Carolina
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WHNS; Greenville, SC. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.