Helicopter search and rescue training in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Task Force 1 partnered for the first time to practice helicopter search and rescue technician training. 

Boone County Batallion Chief Chuck Leake said this is only the fifth time in the nation the Missouri National Guard and a civilian agency have created a team. 

Leake said the training is a simulation of a person that is stranded in their car during a flash flood.

"How do you get to them? Local resources may not be available," Leake said. "The local fire department may not have the skill set or resources to do that."

The goal is to send a rescuer down from the helicopter to the vehicle and save the stranded person within 60 seconds. 

Leake said he is excited about the partnership.

"It's awesome. I am humble to be the leader of this group," Leake said. "They are some of the best technical rescuers across the state with Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield." 

Helicopters can aid in floods, building rescues and collapses.

"With the partnership between the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Task Force 1, we now have another tool in the toolbox to be able to effect those rescues," Leake said. 

Rescue experts from Texas visited Columbia to teach the program and critique the training.

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