SARZA held its annual mock call out training exercise in the hills of Johannesburg, South Africa this past weekend in order to test the Unit’s call out readiness and call out procedures.
The mock scenario consisted of a party of 3 pax that went missing. An approximate Place Last Known (PLK) was communicated to the Rescue Unit, after which 30 members responded to the selected rendezvous (RV) for further instructions. SARZA’s mobile command post (MCP) was deployed and a hasty search team, followed by a full grid search team which was sent out on foot to search through the night under extreme weather conditions.
Communications between team members were established on UHF frequencies whereas the field team leaders (FTL) maintained communications with the Joint Operations Command (JOC) via the VHF frequencies. The grid search patterns were recorded on GPS and reported back to the JOC and Incident Command.
The exercise furthermore consisted of Wilderness First Aid (WAFA) scenarios, treating lacerations, dislocations and hypothermia. Besides the 4×4 night convoy driving through rough terrain, the team practiced stretcher carries utilising SARZA’s litter wheel and basket stretchers. The ARCC observed the mock call out proceedings on Saturday and became part of the rescue teams. ARCC – Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre