Local search and rescue team partners with National Guard


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Fire departments from northwest Arkansas will soon make up a helicopter search and rescue team, using black hawks and lakotas to rescue people across the state.

Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Washington County Department of Emergency Management currently make up an urban search and rescue task force.

It’s partnering with the Arkansas National Guard for specialized rescue.

John Luther, Director of Washington County Emergency Management, says it’s a major project and could help in swift water flooding and missing persons incidents.

“In partnership with them, we will work together when they’re training, we will be training. Nobody is really spending any additional dollars. It’s just a matter of getting together, working out the details…and doing the training to meet their stringent requirements,” Luther said.

He says other states could also request service for emergencies or large-scale weather events.

The helicopter search and rescue team is scheduled to be off the ground in May 2020.

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