BRYAN, Texas — Several organizations traveled to College Station and performed practice emergency search and rescue operations.
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) hosted the 2022 SAREX at their Disaster City facility in south College Station.
TEEX officials stated, that the Texas Military Department partnered with Texas A&M Task Force 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other states. Federal and military agencies all around Texas come out to participate in the large-scale aviation search and rescue exercise.
Matt McElearney is a Captain with Austin Fire Department and a helicopter search and rescue technician with Texas Task Force 1. McElearney said that several states including Oklahoma, Arkansas, and even Indiana joined Texas for the exercise.
McElearney said he's worked for years as a firefighter and was happy to expand his search in rescue exercises. The exercises use both military and civilian aircraft to perform search and rescue operations.
“This just enhances what I like to do it broadens that scope for me in an emergency response," said McElearney
Steve Sparks, a rescue team manager, said he's usually participating as a rescuer but acted as the person being rescued for the purpose of the exercise.
“They need to practice their skills on a real person so it’s easy for me to come out and do whatever it is they need me to do," said Sparks.