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Butte Co. agencies hold helicopter water rescue training

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Oct 19 2013 06:00:00 PM CDT
Butte Co. Sheriffs and Chico FD hold helicopter rescue trainig
CHICO, Calif. -

With the rainy season about to hit, the Butte County Sheriff's Office and Chico Fire Department held helicopter based water-rescue training on the Sacramento River near Chico on Saturday.

The agencies practiced air rescues on the water in a couple of ways.

One involved a rescuer attached to a rope hanging from a helicopter.

The other involved a helicopter with a floatation device attached to it that would drag the victim to shore.

"Flooding is a big concern for us," says Kevin Lucero with the Butte County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team.

"The Sacramento River, which is where we're at right now, has flooded in the past. We're concerned about high water. We're concerned about floods in various other places. We want our rescue techs from Chico Fire as well as Butte County Search and Rescue to be ready for the water rescues that we typically encounter at this time of year."

Lucero says the sheriff's office usually does this type of training in August but wildfires kept them busy this year.

He also says working on the technical abilities of air rescues is just as important as working on communications between ground and air.