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Rescuers team up for drill
Civil Air Patrol pic1
U.S. Civil Air Patrol staff work a mock airplane wreck scene in the Chattahoochee National Forest on Feb. 19. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Emergency services workers with Dawson County got to put their skills to the test during a recent drill in the Chattahoochee National Forest involving a crashed airplane.


The local rescuers worked with the U.S. Forest Service, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Civil Air Patrol in the mock crash on top of a mountain, where “victims” awaited rescue.


Capt. Ross Statham with the U.S. Civil Air Patrol said Dawson County Emergency Services did not disappoint during the Feb. 19 exercise.


“Your guys in Dawson County, they’re awesome. They know their stuff,” said Statham, adding that Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield is “off-the-scale good.”


Satterfield said he and fellow rescuers enjoyed the training exercise.


“It was a great learning experience,” Satterfield said.


Satterfield and his team were charged with locating the “victims” that had wandered away from the scene of the staged airplane crash.


Dawson County Emergency Services used bloodhounds and other dogs to complete the exercise.


It was the first time that the local rescuers have participated in the exercise, but it may not be the last.


Statham said the drill, entitled “Frostbite 2011” could be repeated next year.


He said one of the the air patrol’s missions to the air force is to “provide search and rescue activities.”


The U.S. Civil Air Patrol was founded shortly before World War II. According to Statham, the branch was started to help with coastal defense.


Currently, he said, the civil patrol has three missions: emergency services, aerospace education and furtherance of the cadet program.