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The Joint Missouri Task Force 1/Missouri Army National Guard Helicopter Search and Rescue Team (MO-TF1/MOARNG HSART) spent the last two days participating in a large-scale helicopter search and rescue exercise in Texas. The “2019 Air-X Coastal Hurricane Aviation Evacuation Search & Rescue Exercise” was based out of Scholes International Airport in Galveston, TX. A total of 19 aircraft from 8 helicopter search and rescue organizations participated in the two-day exercise. On the first day, team commanders and ground controllers were given an Air-X exercise aviation brief; provided an overview of disaster airspace and mission support coordination; and provided a review of helicopter search and rescue operations during Hurricane Florence. HSART teams reviewed team capabilities and discussed equipment, tactics and procedures used during helicopter search and rescue. On the second day, all participating teams were assigned rescue missions in the surrounding area. Three Missouri (MOARNG) aircraft, a UH-60 Blackhawk from Fort Leonard Wood, a UH-60 Blackhawk from Springfield and a UH-72 Lakota from Jefferson City, and their crews and five MO-TF1 HSART techs participated. The three teams were comprised of a MOARNG helicopter crew (two pilots and a crew chief) and either one or two MO-TF1 HSART technicians. The UH-60’s flew with two HSART techs and the UH-72 flew with one HSART tech. Also attending were the MO-TF1 HSART Program Manager, the MOARNG HSART Program Manager and a representative from the Missouri National Guard State Aviation Office. They managed flight operations for the three Missouri HSART teams as members of the Joint Air Ground Coordination Team (JACGT) during the exercise. During the exercise, the three teams flew a total of 8 missions and rescued 15 victims. These missions included rescuing victims from flooded areas including open water, trees, roofs of buildings and roofs of cars. ... See MoreSee Less

June 13th, 4:03 pm  ·  

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Member Spotlight
Robert Hemmelgarn, Firefighter, Station 12 El Chaparral

Robert Hemmelgarn has lived in Boone County most of his life, in fact, he was born at Boone Hospital Center and graduated from Hickman High School in 2002. After graduating, he spent some time in Kansas and Colorado before returning to Columbia in 2007.

During the day, Robert is a media specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Columbia. Robert performs writing, photography, and speaking as part of MDC’s Outreach & Education Division where he works closely with conservation experts in fisheries, forestry and wildlife. He is also able to use his talents at his job by performing prescribed burns, first aid training for staff and a variety of public programs designed to help Missourians understand, appreciate and engage in conserving the natural resources we all share.

Robert volunteers as a board officer for the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association which he says keeps him engaged in city policy issues and community development. He enjoys playing on several softball teams from spring through fall. He likes to travel to enjoy surf, snow, new cultures and foods. At home, he enjoys running, biking, photography, working in gardens, cooking, canoeing, camping and fishing.

In regard to being a firefighter, Robert says that he really enjoys the physical challenges and problem-solving nature of the work. He has gained a tremendous skillset and knowledge base involving fire suppression, emergency medical treatment, technical rescue and leadership development through his involvement with the fire district.

Robert has been a firefighter with Boone County Fire Protection District, Station 12 near El Chaparral subdivision since the fall of 2017.

“I joined BCFD in 2017 because I wanted to give back to my community in a direct and meaningful manner. I spent a few years working as a producer and videographer for a local TV news outlet, shooting video and writing about many emergency incidents. I always wanted to be able to jump in and help people in these stressful situations. During those years, my sister nearly died in a farm accident. Emergency responders saved her life. I wanted to be able to help people the way they helped her, and my family, and so many others every day. Knowing that I’m able to lend a helping hand when someone in my community needs it most is what drove me to join the fire district. It’s what drives me to keep learning, to be a better firefighter, better neighbor, better brother, and my best self.”

We want to thank Robert Hemmelgarn for all that he does for the fire district. He is another example of one of our many members who is very involved in his community and work, but still finds time to volunteer with the fire district.

Do you want to change a life? Let’s start with yours! Apply to the Boone County Fire Protection District at boonecountyfire.com/recruitment/ and if you have questions send an email to: recruiter@bcfdmo.com
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June 13th, 3:53 pm  ·  

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