CH-146 Griffon helicopters in Trail area for Exercise KOOTENAY COUGAR 2014
A CH-146 Griffon helicopter landed and practiced patient transfer operations at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, British Columbia, on August 22, 2014. Four Griffon helicopters are supporting Exercise KOOTENAY COUGAR 2014, a training exercise involving roughly 400 Reserve Force soldiers from 39 Canadian Brigade Group from August 18-28, 2014.
Exercise KOOTENAY COUGAR 2014 is a culmination of training that has gone on throughout the year, and confirms soldiers’ skills and readiness to respond to domestic emergencies or international operations.
“It’s rare to have a chance like this, to have a dry run before the real thing happens,” said Lisa Keech, RN, ER Patient Care Coordinator. “Different organizations have different processes, for example, something as simple as whether you wait for the helicopter to completely shut down before starting the patient transfer. Ultimately we want what’s best for the patients, whomever they may be.”
The practice transfer ensured interoperability between the Canadian Armed Forces personnel training in the area and the Interior Health Authority in the case of an injury requiring helicopter transfer during Exercise KOOTENAY COUGAR 2014.
39 Canadian Brigade Group (39 CBG) consists of 11 army reserve units representing communities throughout the province. The part-time soldiers of 39 CBG live and work in the communities they serve in.
Providing realistic training is the goal of all training events. During Exercise KOOTENAY COUGAR 2014, soldiers will be using blank and simulated ammunition, as well as live ammunition on a range that is off limits and away from the public domain.
The area around Trail, BC, was selected to host the exercise as it provides a unique and challenging terrain for 39 CBG soldiers. This environment requires leaders and soldiers to navigate and operate in a realistic setting.
“This was an outstanding opportunity to work with the local health authority and ensure we’re on the same page,” said Major Luc Vermette, CH-146 Griffon Pilot. “We’re making sure we’re doing everything possible to support 39 Canadian Brigade Group as they undergo this important training.”