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Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Civil Air SearchSearch & rescue and Rescue Association (CASARA) London volunteer Joe Santschi of Tillsonburg checked out the mock disaster scene that was set up at a farmer’s property on Powers Road south of Talbot Line and just east of the St. Thomas Airport for a large scale multi-agency search and rescue training event staged at different sites in Central Elgin on Saturday, Aug. 22. This disaster scene included a camp site for a lost Scout troop that the wreckage of the plane Mr. Santschi was standing by ended up on top of. In the mock scenario, the plane, its pilot and navigator were in the air searching for the lost Scouts when they experienced trouble and crashed. About 75 CASARA members of chapters from throughout Ontario participated in the training exercises along with Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police officers, Central Elgin firefighters, members of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Salvation Army. Off Port Stanley in the waters of Lake Erie, two other mock disaster scenarios were set up where emergency responders and volunteer search parties looked for a missing vessel and a crashed float plane. The DND had a CC-130 Hercules aircraft as well as a Bell Ch-146 Griffon Helicopter participating in the exercises along with members of the OPP Emergency Response Team and OPP Marine Unit. Central Elgin firefighters were also conducting fire extinguisher and rope rescue training at the airport.

Photography by : Craig Bradford

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