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Elkhorn Search & Rescue, Montana National Guard team up for training exercise

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 19:36:41-04

HELENA — A Jefferson County search and rescue organization teamed up with the Montana National Guard for a major training exercise this weekend.

Elkhorn Search and Rescue held a “mock search” Saturday, at the Marks Ranch west of Clancy.

Civilian volunteers played the role of lost subjects, with varying degrees of injuries. Search and rescue crews then worked with True North Search Dogs and Western Montana Search Dogs to locate them.

They then practiced assessing the subjects and preparing them to be evacuated. Finally, they hoisted the volunteers up to a National Guard helicopter for medical evacuation, or “medevac.”

Elkhorn Search and Rescue’s Dave Kauffman said the training gave them valuable experience, and that it was a privilege to work with the Guard’s aviation team.

“ESAR provides realistic training at least once per month and continually strives to be ready for missions ‘so that others may live,’” he said in a statement.

Kauffman also thanked the K-9 units, the volunteers, and the Marks Ranch for their assistance.