SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Dauphin County -- A natural disaster can strike at any given moment here and across the United States. It's being prepared for when disaster strikes.
The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-H.A.R.T.) simulates a category one hurricane that left devastation throughout Central PA. Including catastrophic flooding along the Susquehanna River.
Keeping the training as real as possible, pushing out reports of a hurricane a week before the storm hits.
Exercising all levels from local and regional but also the state and federal assets, getting commands from land at Fort Hunter in Dauphin County and in the air of new tasks at hand.
"It’s not only an exercise but it’s and evaluation of what we can actually perform in the field and it really shows that the partnerships from all those different agencies can actually come together and focus on a mission to get it completed," says Ryan Walt, PA H.A.R.T. Program Manager and PA Fish and Boat Commission.
These drills are designed to be very realistic. Scenarios ranging from saving someone from a vehicle submerged by water, from a burning boat, a person floating down the river and people stranded.
“With the highly intense precipitation that we are seeing, they have tendency to overwhelm the local resources very quickly and really, this capability of having a helicopter component that is maiden with a water rescue component is really key to be able to save those lives," says Randy Padfield, Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. (PEMA)
According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, flooding is the number one natural disasters in the country
A year ago, PA-H.A.R.T. along with other agencies saved 23 people from flooding in Benton, Pennsylvania.
PA-H.A.R.T. gathers twice a year to complete these missions.