Soldiers from the West Virginia Army National Guard and the West Virginia Swift Water Rescue Team recently completed necessary training and certification through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
From June 10-13, the National Guard soldiers and the water rescue team members took part in training to identify as a FEMA Type 1 swift water/flood search and rescue team within the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Training included helicopter underwater egress, helicopter search and rescue, and boat operations.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark A. Shrewsbury, Joint Interagency Training and Education Center West Virginia Swift Water Rescue Team noncommissioned officer in charge, said “Being recognized as a FEMA Type 1 swift water rescue team gives us the ability to deploy and be recognized at a national level as capable of performing many technical rescue disciplines that could occur in a flood situation.”
Jimmy Gianato, director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, also spoke of the importance of the training, saying “Our hope is that we can put teams like this all over the state, so that when something happens we’ve got the capabilities and the response time is diminished.”
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West Virginia Soldiers Dive Into FEMA Certification Training, Department of Defense