NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – NC Search and Rescue Task Force 11, a joint team comprised of staff from New Hanover County Fire Rescue and the City of Wilmington Fire Department, will conduct a water rescue training exercise near Riverside Park (6710 Old Bridge Site Road, Castle Hayne) on August 15-16. The exercise is expected to start around 5 p.m. each day and last until after midnight.
“Studying, doing dry land exercises and talking through scenarios is important, but the best training is getting to take what you’ve learned and use it in a practical situation. That’s why this exercise is so critical,” said New Hanover County Fire Captain and NC Task Force 11 member Blake Turner. “This is a great opportunity for our team to come together and work in a real-world environment. We have deployed to other parts of the state and country before, and have also helped our neighbors during flooding events, so a drill like this helps us always be ready to respond if, and when, we are needed.”
As part of the training, the task force will be working on team mobilization, boat operator skills, water navigation, search techniques and coordination, implementation of technology in search operations, deployment of emergency communication systems, and command and control.
While the exercise is taking place, Riverside Park will remain open for normal operating hours, but additional activity and emergency vehicles may be seen by the public. Residents should expect to see increased traffic on Old Bridge Site Road and in the Northeast Cape Fear River in the Castle Hayne area on August 15-16.
Task Force 11 is one of seven teams strategically located throughout the state by North Carolina Emergency Management. Members receive extensive specialist training in the areas of urban search, confined space, high angle, trench, swift-water and flood rescue. They are equipped with state-of-the-art rescue equipment, including night vision technology, high-water rescue vehicles, low-draft rescue boats and advanced satellite communications equipment. Learn more about North Carolina’s Search and Rescue Regional Response System here.