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Newsletter #39     | News


  • Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team: Perfect partnership
  • Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team: Perfect partnership


Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team: Perfect partnership


Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team is a unique aerial search and rescue team that provides rescue capabilities throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

US Army, May 15, 2014 - HARRISBURG, PA by 1st Lt Cory Johnson, 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment - The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART) was put to the test during a simulated water rescue near Fort Hunter, Pennsylvania, during Vigilant Guard, an emergency preparedness exercise hosted by the Pennsylvania National Guard here May 14.

PA-HART is a unique aerial search and rescue team that provides rescue capabilities throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, responding to natural and man-made disasters. PA-HART team consists of Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and volunteer water rescue technicians with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Team members go through vigorous training preparing them for hostile environments, both water rescues and mountainous terrain. “It’s not just water rescue missions, our mission allows us the capability to perform any search and rescue mission,” said Scott Grahn, the senior strike team leader for PA-HART.

Comprised of both Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and civilian rescue team technicians, the PA-HART team is the epitome of military and civilian team work. When activated, different emergency management services throughout Pennsylvania must also be alerted to the situation. When the PA-HART team’s helicopter landed at the victim extraction point, the Susquehanna Township Emergency Services were on-hand to litter carry the victim to an ambulance.

“We’re at the tip of the spear when it comes to military forces and civilian teams working together,” said Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

“We train two to three times a month, not just during the Vigilant Guard exercise,” said Grahn. “You will find here in Pennsylvania, we do not have a lot of water fatalities due to the planning and real-world training we conduct.”

Grahn added he’s sure when the PA-HART team is put the test they will be ready. “It comes down to planning. Planning saves time, money and most importantly, it saves lives.”


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US Pennsylvania National Guard US Army Aviation

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