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Multi-Agency Rescue Training Conducted in Mountains Above Claremont

Hundreds of emergency personnel coordinated rescue drills to better respond to potential major accidents.

Five different agencies across two counties coordinated a massive three-day mountain rescue exercise and training session.

Tw drills took place over three days, July 17-19, officials said in a press release. The first set of exercises were conducted at Little Dalton Dam near Glendora Mountain Road above the city of Glendora, with the last drill taking place on Mt. Baldy Road at the San Antonio Dam north of Claremont.

Included in the exercises were the San Bernardino County Urban Search and Rescue Team and Engine 12, the Mt. Baldy Volunteer Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR), the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team,, Angeles National Forest Service engine crews, the Dalton Hot Shots, the California Highway Patrol, and the Cole Schaffer Ambulance Company, and personnel from the Sheriff's San Dimas Station.

Rescue helicopters from Los Angeles County Fire were also part of the training, as well as the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team coordinated heavily with members of the San Dimas Search and Rescue Team over the three days.

"Each drill simulated a multi-victim over-the-side incident – with either several vehicles or a bus over the side of the mountain. At the start of each drill a 'first on scene' unit was chosen to arrive at the incident, provide analysis of the situation, and assign resources as they would in an actual event," officials said.

The various agencies then coordinated rescue efforts, forming a multi-agency command, getting four rescue teams over the side to deliver aid to rescue multiple victims.

Truck winches and rope systems were utilized by some rescue teams, while Copter 12 from LA County Fire conducted a hoist operation.

"The ultimate goal of these exercises was to provide an open working relationship between county, state and federal resources to provide an efficient, unified response to incidents that occur in our local mountains," officials said.

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