The Civil Air Patrol Prepares for Disaster

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A single-engined airplane is down is west Tallahassee. That's what several cadets in the Civil Air Patrol, the official Air Force Auxiliary are told. Their mission is to hunt down the missing plane staged by Civil Air Patrol leaders. The search entails a three mile trek through the woods using GPS and emergency location transmitters.

David Sneider is a ranger from south Florida. He said, "We had to cross a little ravine, a little water and some brush.”

By no means is this an easy operation. The cadets have several steps they need to follow before they can ensure the safety of the scene.

Lane Branch is a Tallahassee Civil Air Patrolman and added, "We rushed in and we secured the perimeter about fifty feet in all directions. Then we searched for victims. When we first saw them we wanted to check to see if they were alive."

The students quickly get to work. They find two victims who need emergency care.

Sneider discussed the condition of one of the victims.

"This one is breathing, unconscious, and there are no fingers on his right hand except for a thumb."

Branch said, "Even though I knew that they're not real victims, just seeing them was shocking. It fazed me, but I was able to continue with the mission."

While some are checking on the victims, others are searching for evidence. The 28 cadets are tested on their rescue skills. The reward is ranger certification.

Several local volunteer firefighters also help out in the staged rescue mission. The acting victims were even taken to a landing pad where a helicopter picked them up.