Missouri rescue teams begin helicopter training
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Task Force 1 and Missouri Army National Guard Helicopter Search and Rescue Team are training with Blackhawks Helicopters this week.
The trainees hung from helicopters Tuesday as they practiced safety procedures.
Marshall Goodson, of the Missouri Army National Guard, said cross-training with the task force has many benefits.
"I enjoy getting to know those guys and how they work on their side, what they do on their job and being able to pick their brains and doing the same thing that they do here, overseas," Goodson said.
Only 11 of 210 task force members were selected for the training.
The manager of the Missouri Helicopter Search and Rescue Team, Chuck Leake, said those 11 people had to work very hard to qualify.
"The rescue technicians for Missouri Task Force 1 are people that volunteered, went through the selection process, a physical fitness testing for it and they trained every month to do this," Leake said.
The Assistant Chief of the Boone County Fire Department said team members have a lot more going for them.
"They really are the best of the best when it comes to what they do these because guys and gals on the helicopter search and rescue teams are swimmers, they're water rescue technicians, they've got all of the training they need," Gale Blomenkamp said.
The three-day training with UH-60 Blackhawks will end on Wednesday.