Interagency helicopter medevac training takes flight in Rapid City

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Firefighters, the National Guard, and community members are conducting helicopter medevac training today in the Black Hills.

Nearly 60 people from multiple agencies are teaming up to train for real-life emergencies, similar to this.

“And we talk about primarily our field going personnel in the Black Hills. If there was some kind of emergency. Whether it be a wildland fire or any of the field going folks, how we are going to extract them so we talk about the capabilities of all the different aircraft that we have that are based in the Black Hills,” Merrill said.

Kevin Merrill is the Forest Aviation Officer for the Black Hills and Nebraska National Forests.

“You train for real life scenarios so to get everybody out here and at least getting face and name recognition, understanding the different capabilities that each of these platforms have, it just sets us up for success in the future,” Merrill said.

Lydia Raderschadt is a senior firefighter with the Black Hills Helitack. She is also participating in some of the training today.

Radershadt says the Black Hills Helitack main job is to be the initial attack on wildland fires.

“We are just another resource out there, people know that we can do this. If it needs to be done we can do it. We can take time away from fighting fire to save somebody’s life,” Radershadt said.

The interagency helicopter medevac training is an annual event out here in the Black Hills. This is its tenth year now.

The training event runs from nine in the morning to about three in the afternoon. It’s hosted at the Great Plains Dispatch Center in Rapid City.

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