Skip to content

Training exercise a 'valuable' experience for area emergency services (5 photos)

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre conducted a mock search-and-rescue mission on Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching Wednesday

Emergency services from the region feel they’re better prepared to respond to missing-person calls after a training exercise Wednesday.

Members of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) from Trenton landed their Griffon helicopter at OPP General Headquarters, where they were joined by members of the OPP, Orillia Fire Department, Rama Fire Department, Ramara Fire Department, Barrie Police Service and South Simcoe Police Service. They were briefed before taking part in mock search-and-rescue operations on Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe.

The drill saw JRCC members rappel from the helicopter and bring the “missing person” back up to the Griffon.

While there aren’t as many boats on the water as there were in the summer, it was still a timely exercise since there is less daylight and the water is colder now, said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

The goal of the training was to test the communication and co-ordination among the many emergency services that are often involved in these types of incidents in real life.

“Training exercises always are opportunities to learn about what works well and how we can improve,” Schmidt said. "They are so valuable."

Many of the police officers and fire officials had their phones out to record the Griffon landing at OPP General Headquarters, and they were clearly excited about the upcoming training, Schmidt noted.

“This is their passion. It’s what they signed up to do,” he said.

JRCC members were also pleased with how the day went.

“They were happy to participate and said, ‘Let’s do this more often,’” Schmidt said, adding there will be more training exercises in the future.

More videos from Wednesday's exercise can be seen on the OPP Central Region Twitter page.