Health & Safety

October 25, 2012

Search and Rescue crew recovers aircraft, proves mettle

Story by Cpl. Shelby Shields
Courtesy photo

Members of the station Search and Rescue team responded to a call from the La Paz County Sherriff’s Department at approximately 11:20 a.m., Oct. 15 requesting assistance with a downed aircraft recovery carrying two occupants.

The rescue team banded together and located the downed aircraft by 12:58 p.m., only a little more than an hour and a half after the initial call. Thankfully, the two occupants of the plane were found at the site with no injuries and were evacuated from the area.

“There’s always a little anxiety with every flight,” said Seaman Curt Hansen, the corpsman aboard last week’s rescue. “That being said we train for much harder situations so it made this one easier.”

Search and Rescue teams on station are constantly practicing and training for any and all kinds of situations they may face. During the week there are at least two training flights per day, one in the morning and one at night.

“The amount of training we do is what helps us complete these rescues so smoothly,” said Maj. Clayton Danford, Co-pilot on the rescue. “It’s about currency and staying proficient.”

Another key aspect to the training is making sure the crews are constantly switched.

“We switch day-to-day,” said Lance Cpl. Jesse Butterfield, a crew chief with SAR. “We’re what you call a universal crew, this way no matter who is available we’re all trained to the same standard and can work with anyone.”

Though many of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s SAR launches are in support of civilian entities, mostly heat casualties and the occasional ejection, the SAR Marines understand and are devoted to their chief duty.

“Our primary mission is supporting the air station,” said Hansen. “It’s always rewarding to help out the local community, but first and foremost we’re here for the Marines.”

“Depending on the severity of the rescue is how we determine priority,” added Danford. “Obviously if one of our aircraft were down but we knew everyone on board was ‘Ok’ and we had a call from our civilian counterparts involving injury or potentially something serious we will make that call and help everyone we can.”

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Naval Branch Health Clinic Yuma receives Level Three patient-centered medical home recognition

Naval Branch Health Clinic Yuma was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a level three Patient-Centered Medical Home, Dec. 31, 2012. “The patient will notice a different level of care in a PCMH, although much of the PCMH teamwork goes on behind the scenes,î said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Whaley, the department head...

Changes to TRICARE Prime Service Areas

Prime Service Areas are geographic areas where TRICARE Prime is offered. These PSAs were created to ensure the medical readiness of the active duty force by augmenting the capability of military hospitals and clinics. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, TRICARE Prime will no longer be available to beneficiaries living in certain areas of the United States...

Corps adds random breathalyzer tests to repertoire of ways to keep Marines accountable

YUMA, Ariz. – It seems Marines will now face random breathalyzer tests, as well as tests before assuming a duty post, as part of the Alcohol Screening Program. The days of being allowed one beer at lunch are long gone, and now the days of showing up to work with alcohol still in your system...


Corps initiates new testing protocols for Spice testing

A Marine Administrative Message signed by Brig. Gen. R. F. Hedelund, director of Marine and Family Programs Division, announced a change in urinalysis testing for synthetic chemical compounds such as Spice. Urinalysis testing for synthetic compounds is separate and distinct from the urinalysis program all specimens are subjected to in the search of service members...
Photo by Cpl. Michelle Brinn

No problem: Corps to implement pull-ups for females

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — It was intimidating at first. I looked up into the sky at a distance that seemed far too great for me to reach, considering I stand tall at just under five feet. But I was determ...

12 Days of Christmas – Safety Style!

1. When putting up Christmas lights at home for the holidays, make sure that all electrical cords are in good condition. Never run cords under the carpet and avoid overloading sockets with many plugs because this can start an electrical fire.   2. When visiting other people’s homes, remember that their homes may not be...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>