I don’t necessarily want to call it an education course, more like a friendly conversation. Still, every recruit should have had this conversation at some point.
It’s all about what we need for the SAR, the search, and rescue training. I was a little bit surprised about what is required, but at the beginning.
I had got a tip on how to get this education, so I wrote a two-line text and threw it into the mailbox of LT Tersimus.
I didn’t think that it would be so fast, but a few days later it started. I received an invitation to the seminar. It was, at least for me, a very relaxed and casual conversation. They explained what I have to do, which training courses I need, and the order in which I have to participate professionally in the SAR. I am always a survivor during the exercises that I participate in, but everyone starts as a survivor.
A SAR team consists of at least two persons; for RS and RP, it can vary depending on availability. We always try to have at least three people when doing the SAR team. The reason three is needed because you need one as the RS, one as the RFE, and one as the RP.
First, we have the rescue swimmer, the abbreviation being, “RS.” Suppose you wish to be a Rescue Swimmer. In that case, you have to complete the First Responder course, and optionally the flight safety course. The ATC (Aviation Training Center) is where applications are processed to go through the training.
Why does the RS have to have these courses? He is the first person to be with the injured. Rescues are done by helicopter, which flies to the accident scene; the rescue swimmer should also know how to behave in a helicopter.
Our boats at the Coast Gaurd secure the area because it is not without danger for the onlookers.
The second person is the rescue flight engineer, RFE, for short. The Rescue Flight Engineer is the winch operator and is responsible for the rescue equipment, i.e., the basket, the stretcher, or the rescue harness. In the end, every life is in their hands.
And then, last but not least, the rescue pilot, or RP for short. The rescue pilot is required to have a helicopter permit. The permit is awarded to the pilot by completing a certain number of flying hours and so on. So, it’s all a bit of an effort, but it’s worth it.
When we had discussed this so far, it was all about the survivors. Since I had already participated in 2 SAR exercises before, I know that it is not easy to be a survivor.
Since there are still some extensions, like the rescue divers, it is worth to stay up to date on your hours and training.
This casual conversation has shown me what I want to do after my time as a recruit. And everybody can pull people out of the water, even recruits! If a SAR team comes, they will pick up the Survivor from the boat. Please don’t leave the people alone; they have nests and need us.
Thanks to my instructor, who was Petty Officer Willow, a real rescue pilot. I loved this conversation; you helped me find my way.
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