An inter-departmental drill at Conhas Lake Tuesday tested the skills of emergency rescue teams. It also helped them to prepare for Memorial weekend that kicks off the busy summer season, agency offiicals said.
"I was very, very pleased with what I saw today,” said San Miguel County Deputy Sheriff Jack Hartigan, one of the drill’s organizers.
The accident response and rescue drill was held by members of the San Miguel Sheriff, Fire and EMS departments along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Mexico State Parks, and the Conchas Fire and Ambulance Service at Conchas Lake.
At 2 p.m., minutes after the first mock call came in, rescue workers were on the water heading to the scene of a boating accident. After recovering two male "victims" from the water, they returned to the dock and transfered both men to a waiting ambulance which sped them off to the airport at Conchas for transport to the hospital.
Several months in the planning stage, the drill was conducted with little advance notice. While participants knew that it would happen, none knew exactly when.
"For what we did today, on such short notice, we didn't do too bad,” said Ed Wright, Acting Chief of the Conchas Volunteer Fire Department.
"For an all-volunteer unit I think we did fairly well,” said San Miguel Fire and EMS Chief Russell Pacheco.