First Responders Train with Mock Search and Rescue

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Albemarle, Fluvanna and Greene counties' sheriff's offices participated in a mock search and rescue. Albemarle, Fluvanna and Greene counties' sheriff's offices participated in a mock search and rescue.

Police and first responders in central Virginia are making sure they are ready when the call comes in. 

More than 100 people participated in a mock search and rescue mission Friday night, part of the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office's annual spring training. 

The scenario: a Fluvanna County farm hand has been missing for hours. His boss, who reported him missing, went to look for him. Now he is lost too. Search and rescue teams have deployed and are looking for clues to find the two men. A very likely situation, but in this case it is all staged. 

"We're able to tune in on our skills that we've learned and be able to figure out the new equipment we've got and to see how we're able to operate with other agencies," said Chief Deputy Bobby Shiflett with the Albemarle Sheriff's Office. 

Three search teams, two rescue dogs, a command center and a search helicopter all came together for the mock rescue. For the first time the training included the Fluvanna County and Greene County sheriff's offices. 

"It also gives me the opportunity to see what resources that may be available to me if I needed additional assistance in such a scenario of a missing person or individual of that nature," said Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant Washington.

During the training search teams looked for clues on the ground while the helicopter conducted an aerial search - all in preparation for the hard work a real-life search and rescue requires. 

"It takes a lot when someone becomes missing to organize and prepare to hopefully get the individual back safe and sound," Washington said.

Crews will pick up training again Saturday morning at 6 a.m. and some of those exercises will take place in both Albemarle and Greene counties.

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