Training. It’s something that you can never have enough of. Especially when it comes to Search and Rescue. Over the last month or so several Fire Departments have participated in mutual aid training and that training paid off recently when a car accident occured, trapping someone in the car.

On Wednesday night, the Cleburne County Search and Rescue, which includes members of the Pine Snag/Lobo, Wilburn and Prim fire departments participated in joint training on repelling at night to rescue someone. This was the last of the rope rescue training, the Pine Snag/Lobo team had also trained on Monday night. Plans to continue mutual training in the future to include all County fire departments are in the works.

The Sun Times was invited to the training to show the public the kind of training that goes into efforts to rescue people.  The training exercise took place at the Rock Quarry in Heber Springs with former Assistant Fire Chief of the Pine Bluff Arsenal and Instructor at the Firefighters Academy in Camden, Mike Armstrong instructing. Armstrong emphasized the importance of working as a team. He then discussed safety and the proper terms that everyone needed to know so they would understand directions. He discussed how each person must be assigned certain duties and again, working as a team.

After setting up a safety line and rigging up, Mark Turner and Scott Cresswell readied to go down the side of the bluff. Turner went down first followed by Cresswell.

Scott Cresswell, Director, told The Sun Times that he has several goals for the upcoming year, hopefully before tourist season starts,  “Spend some time working on additional SAR tech, swift water training and certifying a couple more divers are top priorities right now. Our plans for this summer are to have more of a presence on the lake with a Search and Rescue lake patrol. Having a team already on the water will greatly reduce response times to this type of public assistance. Our greatest hindrance right now is operating without any source of funding. We depend solely on our local fire departments to help provide additional equipment we just don’t have. Anyone wishing to donate contact Amanda Cameron at the Office of Emergency services in Heber Springs at 501-362-2911. From all of us at the Cleburne county search and rescue team to all of you we wish you a safe and happy holidays!”

Members of Cleburne County Search and Rescue present were Scott Cresswell, Mark Turner, Ethan Cresswell, Ryan Yoder, Chance Schuren, Matthew Stogsdill, Mike Chambers, Lane Carter, Joanna Vaughan, Brian Moorehead, Bobby Hill, Ivory Hill, Michael Dungan and Non Member instructor Mike Armstrong.