ARKANSAS (KFSM) — The Arkansas Helicopter Search and Rescue program is taking off after numerous protocols.
After a long wait, the newly formed task force has begun to train for life-saving situations.
The joint effort between the Arkansas National Guard and Arkansas Task Force 1 is going to help make the state safer and increase rescue capabilities.
Not only will the team be able to deploy in the state, but also out of state as a national asset when requested and approved by the governor during disasters.
Arkansas Task Force 1 is hosted regionally in Pulaski County and in Washington County. The USAR team is staffed by local emergency responders from different agencies.
In a Facebook post, Washington County Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security wrote, "with the help of state partners like the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management and the backbone of the HSAR effort, the Army aviation unit of the Arkansas National Guard, things are off to a great start!"
Support from the governor’s office will help the Helicopter Search and Rescue program save lives during local emergencies and large-scale disasters.
ARTF1 USAR members trained at Drake Field last week with the ARNG Aviation unit in both Blackhawk and Lakota helicopters continuing to develop and build our helicopter search and rescue team.
The HSAR team is scheduled to be off the ground and operational by May of 2020.