Coast Guard crews train for urban environment flood rescues

Coast Guard crews train for urban environment flood rescues.

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- As Hurricane Florence makes landfall, rescue crews around the country are preparing to be called in for the aftermath.

On Thursday, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City practiced rescue missions in urban environments, something they could face if they get called down south.

It's a challenging training that takes a lot of communication and coordination.

While the coast guard is used to water rescues, Lieutenant Michael Haas says this training is different because of the urban environment.

"Lots of power lines and high towers, so we typically have to hover a lot higher than you would over the water, and that changes things for the pilot and the flight mechanic.. as far as visual references," says Lt. Haas.

The urban rescue training was executed at Camp Grayling where there is a makeshift town with building-like structures.

Each scenario involved rescuing a 90 pound dummy from either the top or side of a building.

The hoist can bear up to 600 pounds, and Lt. Haas says they decide which equipment to use after evaluating the situation and the survivor.

Lt. Haas says they do the training year round so they are prepared for any flooding in an urban environment.

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