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Emergency Crews Hold Practice Search and Rescue Drill

Multiple fire departments came together to practice for a real emergency.
Emergency crews were preparing for the worst Tuesday night as they held a practice search and rescue drill in Harborcreek.

The call went out at 7 p.m.

An ATV accident with multiple victims at Six Mile Creek Park in Harborcreek.

Fire department crews from Harborcreek, Greenfield Township and North East responded to the scene.

Crews then broke up into three teams to find the victims, who had been strategically placed throughout the woods before the drill started.

Search teams had to locate and provide medical attention to their victims.

Officials tell us this drill was planned because they don’t have them often enough, and when there is a real emergency, everyone needs to be prepared.

"We don't wanna have to be fumbling through this at the time of a real event. We wanna be able to just get in the woods and get to searching, know exactly what we're gonna be doing and find the victims as possible,” said Chief Charlie Ramsey of the Harborcreek Fire Department.

This drill wasn’t just for those on two legs, the Northwest Pennsylvania K-9 Search and Rescue team brought their dogs to help with the drill.

"One dog is worth as many as ten people in a search, and it's really amazing what they can do. I've been working with them for quite a few years now, and it still amazes me just how accurate and how much faster they are when you're looking to find a missing person,” said Adam Gatti of NWPA K-9 Search and Rescue.

And if you do plan on heading out into the woods, officials have some safety advice for you that could save you from a real search and rescue.

"Have a plan. Communicate to others where you're going, how long you expect to be out. That way if you don't come back they can start making phone calls and a trigger a search as quick as possible,” said Chief Ramsey.

Chief Ramsey also suggested that if you do head out into unfamiliar terrain to stay on the trails. While he understands that exploring is part of the fun, it’s also part of the danger.

More than 20 people were involved in Tuesday night’s drill. It took about two hours to complete.

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