CareFlight tests rescue skills ahead of storm season

THESE guys make it look easy but being winched backwards from a hovering helicopter into raging floodwaters is not a simple task.

For RACQ CareFlight air crewman Mark Arthur, it's part of the job but one that could be avoided if the message finally got through to drivers.

CareFlight air crewman Mark Arthur.
CareFlight air crewman Mark Arthur. Bev Lacey

Crews readied their rescue skills during dry land training operations at the Toowoomba base yesterday in the lead-up to storm season.

"There's a lot of hazards out there especially during flood times so we've got to be aware of those hazards and make it as safe as possible," he said.

"Winching is a very dangerous part of our operation and a lot of things can go wrong. So we need to make sure all our procedures are in place because it is a diminishing skill.

"We had a situation near Oakey where some people tried to follow a truck through a flooded road where the truck got through but they (the car) were swept off the road.

"Remember, if it is flooded, forget it."

Mr Arthur said it was frustrating that people continued to put their lives at risk by attempting to cross flooded roads.

RACQ Community and Education executive manager David Contarini urged people to protect themselves and their property during storm season.

RACQ CareFlight air crewman Mark Arthur and rescue crews perform dry land winching exercises to get ready for storm and flood season.
RACQ CareFlight air crewman Mark Arthur and rescue crews perform dry land winching exercises to get ready for storm and flood season. Bev Lacey

"It's incredibly frustrating for emergency service workers and our traffic response units to see motorists entering floodwaters risking not only their lives, but also those of their rescuers," Mr Contarini said.



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