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Multiple organizations pull together to make the Search and Rescue Exercise a success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Carissa Wolff
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
A Search and Rescue Exercise was held at Andersen's Tarague Beach May 8. The SAREX brought together nine different agencies, both military and civilian to make this a joint exercise.

"The SAREX is a Search and Rescue Exercise that incorporates all parties for the entire island of Guam to successfully come together as a team to mitigate any water rescue situation that may come up," said Master Sgt. Daniel J. Cline 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Assistant Chief for Training.

Approximately 100 personnel from Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, Guam Lifeguards, HSC-25, Guam Coast Guard, Jeff's Pirates Cove Rescue Team, Andersen Air Force Base Lifeguards, Andersen's Fire and Emergency Services, and a team of trainers from Hawaii pulled together to make this exercise a success said Dallas More, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Incident Commander for the SAREX. The SAREX gives the multiple emergency response agencies of Guam the opportunity to gather under one umbrella and integrate them into a single seamless rescue response force. This allows them to provide realistic and effective training in a real time, real world environment.

The SAREX trained Guam's emergency response professionals in several areas to include command and control, transfer of command, emergency response, victim retrieval treatment and transport and communications between all the various responders.

"Communications is the most critical portion of a large operation," said More. "Without it nothing works; the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing and this places the entire operation in jeopardy. Poor communications mean less chance of retrieving a 'viable' victim and it places our emergency responders at greater risk."

Local waters can be extremely hazardous, as such, training exercises geared towards integrating all of Guam's emergency responders/rescuers is absolutely critical to everyone's ability to rescue a distressed swimmer and prevent injury to our own emergency response personnel, said More.

"This type of training is among the most dangerous things we do, but in order to protect military personnel, tourists, the general public and our emergency response personnel we have to be absolutely expert at what we do," said More. "This type of training allows us to workout the kinks prior to an actual response and allows all Guam's emergency responders to operate as a seamless integrated unit."