SUMTER, S.C. — The Civil Air Patrol’s Florence Composite Squadron recently tackled the cold and rain to participate in a search and rescue exercise hosted by Sumter Composite Squadron.
The training started with covering the basic items such as proper equipment for a 24-hour pack, actions on becoming lost, identifying natural hazards of the area and American Red Cross training.
The trainees participated in different levels of ground teams.
Ground Team Three students continued field skills while Ground Team Two students were led through map and field skills.
Mother Nature provided a few obstacles of 15-mph winds and light rain to encourage Team Two students to set up individual shelters quickly.
The training concluded in the evening with Team Three and Team Two conducting a search for a simulated missing person in the vicinity of the Sumter County Airport.
The first search found only clues but no person, so the teams returned to the incident command post for debriefing, re-missioning and warm chili.
The second search was conducted in the dark, in 13- to 15-mph winds, and light rain, requiring the teams to work in a more integrated method. The missing person was located, and the participants practiced carrying the person on a litter to a trans-load location.
Mock urban direction finder and team searches were conducted in an airfield and a local park to locate a down airplane. The participates are now qualified to assist with Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue missions.
The Florence Composite Squadrons has members from throughout the Pee Dee area — including Florence, Darlington, Hartsville, Kingstree and Cheraw.
The unit meets weekly on Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 100 Cap Drive just behind the Florence Airport.
For more information, contact Lt. Jane Proell at 843-615-7315.