On Saturday May 6, 2012, NSR members attended an orientation session with the CH-149 Cormorant SAR helicopter. This aircraft is operated by the Canadian Air Force and is attached to 442 Search and Rescue Squadron out of Comox, BC. While their mandate is for maritime and aeronautical rescue, they can be tasked through the Joint Rescue Coordination Center for Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR). Thus it is important for NSR members to be familiar with their capabilities, their operating parameters and the limitations of their use. The orientation session was held in Stanley Park at HMCS Discovery where there is a helicopter pad.

This orientation session gave members the opportunity to interact with the crew which included the two pilots, the flight engineer, and the two “SAR Techs.” In addition to sharing information, it was an excellent opportunity to test out interoperability. During this session, radio tests were carried out to ensure that we can communicate in the event we call for their assistance.

Background Information:

SAR Tech – military personnel who receive a large amount of training in all aspects of SAR work. They are trained as primary care paramedics, as rescue divers, and for mountain rescue.

CH-149 – The Canadian Forces designation for the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly EH101), a helicopter used for air-sea rescue in Canada. It has a range of 1,389 km and can lift off with a max 70,962 pounds of weight. See wikipedia for more info.

Pictures:

Flickr Set #1 (Team Member Curtis Jones)

Flickr Set #2 (MIT Ryan M.)