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Hurricane Amy Drill Tests Responders

hurricane-amy-drill-373

PARUL JOSHI

WNCT

Reprinted with Permission

Specialists in air, water and building rescues practiced today. They picked Greenville because it developed the largest task force in the state to respond to Hurricane Floyd.

Who could forget sites like this, a mobile home park under water after Hurricane Floyd blew through the East almost 10 years ago. Emergency responders say water got as high as 15 feet which is why they re practicing rescuing people from rooftops. Rescuers were practicing for simulated Hurricane Amy. She landed Wednesday.

Jamey Moss of the state s Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team says We re pretty close. This is really close to the real thing. Here the helicopter aquatic rescue team got the word of stranded survivors.

Todd Brown is the Search and Rescue Coordinator for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. He says, Most deaths and injuries occur by drowning in flood waters.

The team found the victims, and snatched them to safety. These first responders train with their local agencies regularly, but they say Hurricane Floyd is why they re training together.

Julia Jarema of the state Division of Emergency Management says, The challenge with Hurricane Floyd was not all the teams had the same type of training and so people who were used to working with still water and rivers were not used to raging waters. So then when we pulled all the teams together, there are different levels of capabilities. So we ve worked really hard in the last ten years to make sure all the teams across the state have the same type of training. Training that keeps all of us safer.

The North Carolina Division of Emergency Management says this practice was made possible because of federal grant funding. This is the first time the state has put on a practice this large.

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