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Rescue training puts firefighters in the sky
Bedford hosted the training sessions, which included a lecture on Nov. 14 on how to use the equipment, and hands-on maneuvers on Nov. 15 using a tagline to hoist victims onto a hovering helicopter.
Helicopters can fly about 139 knots or 145 mph, and rescues often occur at higher altitudes.
"This training is at 30 feet, but we prefer to go higher," said Army National Guard Sgt. Christopher Wareing. "If we have a lot of reference points such as trees or houses, we try to do it at 100 feet so the wind doesn't batter the team or our patients."
Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Gerbig of the Army National Guard also warned the firefighters to, "Watch the tagline because it can get wrapped around your feet."
The 18-foot closed gear and boat trailers were manufactured in New Boston, Weare and Manchester.
The equipment and trailers can also be used on a daily basis during victim extrications and mutual aid calls.
On April 10, Bedford will host a FEMA evaluated, full-scale exercise on the Merrimack River, involving 120 rescuers and 350 victims all extricated in four hours or less.
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