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Mock rescue in Grimaldi Field a success
ANDOVER- Citizens traveling through Andover on Saturday may have been concerned at the sight of Lifeflight services and dozens of rescue vehicles from surrounding towns covering Grimaldi Field. This was part of a day-long mock rescue exercise organized by Roxbury Fire Department.
“We figured we would do the exercise here in Andover,” noted Roxbury Fire Chief Raymond Carver. “The calls they get are pretty similar to ours with most of them being for hikers, ATV riders, horseback riders and snowmobilers.”
The mock exercise took roughly two months to coordinate between participating towns of Roxbury, Andover, Mexico, and Rumford, and the support services of Med-Care Ambulance, Lifeflight, Oxford County Sheriff's Department, the Maine Forest Service, the Maine Warden Service and the local Roxbury ATV Riders.
With both the Mexico and Roxbury ATV rescue trailers, the six-wheeled Andover ATV, the Mexico utility truck and Roxbury and Andover engines, Med-Care Ambulance and Roxbury ATV Riders, participants were ready to react to the scenario that was set up for them by Jay Bernard of the Maine Forest Service, Brock Clukey of the Maine Warden Service and Sgt. Tim Holland of the Oxford County Sheriff's Department.
The scenario consisted of a father and son out riding their ATV after the father had been drinking. The father crashed the ATV into some trees and was seriously injured and from there, the first responders had to figure the best and safest way to get them out of the woods.
Due to inclement weather, the exercise was pushed up three hours, since Lifeflight cannot fly in thunderstorms.
Jon “Junior” Roebuck, Communications Specialist for Lifeflight noted, “We do the best job we can, the best way we can and to the best of our ability.”
Lifeflight was created 13 years ago when a joint venture between Eastern Maine and Central Maine Healthcare joined forces to get faster treatment for Maine's rural network of communities.
The day-long training was part of the monthly required hours for training by the fire departments and rescue units.
Gary Wentzell, Mexico Fire Chief documented the event.
“I have to compliment Mike Worthley and his ATV club,” noted Carver. “They really do a good job on the trails and also thank them for lunch. It was a free lunch, but donations were accepted so they could donate them to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. They really do a great job.”