National Guard Hurricane Preps

Monday, April 6, 2009 - 6:19pm

Members of the National Guard and state agencies say they’re ready for the upcoming hurricane season. Our David D’Aquin is tracking this story. He saw the realistic training this weekend in New Orleans.

By air, by water, and on the ground, soldiers are training, preparing for the next hurricane. Many of these soldiers actually did rescues during Hurricane Katrina, but some soldiers are training for the first time. Sgt. Andrew Montgomery says, “But nothing will compare to it or be the same.”

Soldiers and state agencies trained for many different scenarios. During Katrina, soldiers rescued people by air-lifting them out of dangerous situations. Col. John Angelloz says, “All of our soldier skills are tested through an exercise like this.” Soldiers played the part of storm victims needing help. Here you can see soldiers helping this person with an IV bag get into a boat. S. Sgt. Bobby Branton says, “The best training that you can get as far as to have a live person bringing them back to air craft.”

Soldiers like Bobby Branton have done air rescues before, but by pretending to be a victim, Branton gets a better idea of what it’s like to be rescued. “It gives us insight as to how our unit operates.” Soldiers rescued victims from the water, brought them to the shore for transport in a helicopter, and then the helicopter landed in a safe spot to make sure the victims get the medical attention they needed. “You can’t learn from a book, you actually have to get out there.”

Soldiers and state agencies say the training was realistic and helpful fro them to get ready for hurricane season. Hurricane season starts June 1st. Tomorrow, forecasters will announce their predictions for the upcoming season and we’ll let you know what they say.