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Brazos Valley first responders conduct annual training


BURLESON COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) –On February 3rd for first responders, being prepared is paramount. That's why they train to prepare for real-life situations.


On Saturday, responders got together for their annual Brazos Valley Search and Rescue (BVSAR) training.


First responders and rescue groups met early in Burleson County at Birch Creek State Park for their exercise.Their goal was to find five missing people.


"It's important to have the exercises so in the real world you're not meeting everybody for the first time. With everybody working together it gives them a chance to know everybody and practice our teamwork," said Duane Strange, Emergency Management Coordinator for Burleson County.


Some key team members for the search are actually animals. People and horses from the East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue joined the training.


"The horses give the searchers a little extra height on their vantage of searching; a higher vantage point and they can go a little further than you can on feet," said Strange.


Trained dogs can also prove vital with tracking.
"They're a great search tool. They can smell a lot farther than we can and can see into the woods," said Jim Yeagar, president of Search Dog Network.


Yeagar said training like this keeps both the animals and first responders ready to take on real-world situations.
"Today is just our opportunity to get out and to work together and make sure of our protocols and were able to talk on the radio and communicate and manage the search effectively," said Yeagar.


Other teams that joined in the search were local volunteer fire departments, Texas A&M's drone team, and Bryan Fire Department.
It took the teams less than five hours working together to locate the missing.


"We found all five people, got them in, and had our briefing. It all turned out good today," said Strange.


The Brazos Valley Search and Rescue group will hold their training in a different county next year to provide first responders with new challenges.

 

 

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