Big Sandy – Civil Air Patrol personnel attending LoneStar Emergency Services Academy at the ALERT Academy near Tyler are approaching the midpoint of their week-long training.
Early Tuesday three CAP Ground Search and Rescue Specialty School teams gathered at the ALERT Academy parade ground for a visit from the Trinity Mother Frances Hospital and Clinic EMS EC-130 helicopter. Aircrew Preston Dean, Craig Mattingly and Mike Douglas briefed the 25 cadets on their life-saving work.
Search teams also were called out on a real-world mission at the nearby Gilmer Airport.
“Today turned out to be a realistic real-world activity,” said Lt. Col. James McCloud. “We found and successfully silenced an Emergency Locator Transmitter.” The distress device, commonly known as an ELT, was first reported activated Monday evening. CAP search teams were dispatched to the airstrip Tuesday afternoon.
Intermittent thunderstorms resulted in the recall of a CAP aircraft sent out to help narrow the ELT search.
LESA provides CAP members with one of the few single sites in the United States that offer comprehensive emergency services training, said Col. Brooks Cima, CAP’s Texas Wing Commander and LESA director.
Cima said there are 112 CAP cadets and senior members attending and staffing courses in Aerial Photography, Communications, Ground Search and Rescue, Public Affairs, Mission Aircrew School (Pilots), Mission Staff and Wilderness First Responder. The attendees are from about a dozen states.
Air and ground missions continue through Saturday when a large-scale simulated search exercise takes place in cooperation with area first responders and public service agencies.