Search and rescue in townPublished 9:27pm Thursday, February 20, 2014
K-9, equine and human search teams descend on Washington this weekend for SARX, the 14th annual Eastern Search Exercise.
From 6 p.m. today to 6 p.m. Sunday, a full-scale wilderness search and rescue mission will take place north of Washington. Approximately 80 people, split into teams of four, will be participating in searches: man-tracking, ground searches, K-9 teams in their respective disciplines, mounted teams, with assistance from communications and support teams. Participants range from volunteers with search and rescue organizations to professionals.
“We have organizations, we have volunteers, a few police departments and fire departments and rescue departments,” said Curtis Avery, Beaufort County fire marshal and acting emergency manager. “There’s a pretty good variety of emergency services organizations being represented this weekend.”
Orientation follows once searchers have checked in at Old Ford Volunteer Fire Department, then the search will be on.
“About 9 p.m., we’ll be putting people in the field and start searching. They’ll be searching all night,” Avery said.
Weyerhaeuser granted use of its property, which encompasses woods and parts of the Dismal Swamp, for the exercise.
“The majority of that mostly pine trees and some swamp. There’s a big variety of terrain there which makes it good for the exercise,” Avery said.
The search and rescue exercise is intended to allow rescuers the chance to hone their skills in their given fields.
For photos and more, see Sunday’s Pamlico Life section.