US Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Denman, Sitka Mountain Rescue and Sitka Fire Department participated in a joint search and rescue exercise in Sitka, Alaska, earlier this year. The exercise took a week to complete, during which crews performed a series of mini scenarios that included looking for lost hunters and avalanche rescues. The exercise ended in a ‘mass-casualty eventʼ where all the agencies coordinated in a joint response to a simulated scene with 40 survivors in distress requiring assistance.
Alaska’s geography is unique and varied. Rural and remote, Alaska is the largest US state by area, and its wilderness presents manifold challenges for rescuers. Further, Alaska has an extensive coastline, mountains, forests, glaciers, and lakes and wetlands, all with their own distinct difficulties and nuances regarding hazards and approaches.
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