Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) conducted their annual HETS (helicopter external transport system) training at their new headquarters near the airport this weekend.
“What we’re doing here is, we’ve simulated an accident. We’ve got two people that are on the slope, and we got called in for a search and rescue task. So a team of three will conduct the rescue mission,” said Kyle Hale, one of three managers with GADSAR.
The team did a fly over in the helicopter to do some reconnaissance of the area, look at the risks and benefits, and come up with a rescue plan.
The team determines that HETS, or heli-sling, is the best way to go. This specialized piece of equipment wraps around the fuselage of the aircraft, while the personnel hang below.
“We do operations like this with a heli-sling fairly regularly… it’s such a powerful rescue tool,” said Hale.
Not every member of GADSAR can be HETS trained says Shauna Speers, president of GADSAR. But it is training that every search and rescue member aspires to.
“It’s such a great tool and we use it quite often, it’s so efficient. So everyone usually likes to get a shot at HETS training,” she said.
Both “injured” parties were air lifted to safety, using the heli-sling, in GADSAR’s successful training session.