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Mock search and rescue in East Park

Exercise part of a series held throughout the year for training purposes to prepare for a real emergency

Posted: Jun 11, 2019 3:38 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - It was a flurry of activity at East Park this evening as a mock search and rescue operation got underway.

Members of the North Iowa Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, were faced with the scenario of a boy going missing from the park, and had to look for clues like Juicy Fruit wrappers, footprints and a bike. In addition, a drone was also put into action, and radio communication and central command were also part of the drill.

Bob Bobholz has been part of the volunteer-driven CERT for about three years, and appreciates the training he and his team are receiving.

"We have very good training. Steve O'Neil [Coordinator with Cerro Gordo Co. Emergency Management] gives us very good training, so we feel confident in our abilities. And we're never put into a situation where it becomes unsafe."

Even though he's done a few of these type of drills before, he learned something new.

"Look small in a big area like East Park, and expand your search out."

Since CERT is made up of volunteers, they're looking to add more. If interested in joining, contact Steve O'Neil at 641-421-3665.

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