Air rescue training held in Byron’s Oxbow Park

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) – The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office along with the State Patrol and Rochester Police Department hosted an air rescue training Thursday afternoon in Byron’s Oxbow Park.

Law enforcements officers from and near Olmsted County participate in air rescue training four times a year as part of the Project Lifesaver program.

This search and rescue program is specifically for helping people with cognitive conditions that cause them to wander off. For such individuals, a special wristband is attached to them.

“It looks just like a wrist watch, except it doesn’t tell time. It’s a small radio transmitter. The client wears that and these are clients that would go wandering or missing, and they don’t probably have the ability to communicate well. Some are non-verbal while others are very afraid of making contact with other people, particularly sometimes law enforcement.”

Olmsted County Sheriff Patrol Sergeant Chad Miller

The training consisted of volunteers wearing radio transmitters who will venture into the park’s woods. The law enforcement teams will try to track the radio signal and coordinate with the command post. This way they can estimate where the missing person is with the helicopter crew.

“We usually make them as difficult as possible. That’s how we like to train. That way we are prepared for the worst and we understand if we get into certain areas, we understand there are signal bounds where we might lose signals. If it is a big area with the hills, we might not get a signal on one side of the hill, but you might on the other side. So we make this as difficult as possible and it is hard to tell.”

Rochester Police Department Sergeant Greg Jeardeau

“I would recommend that anybody who has a person that they care for, family member, friend, sometimes group homes, if they have anybody that they are concerned about and has shown a tendency to wander, they can contact the sheriff’s office or the Rochester police department and we can get them connected with this resource.”

Olmsted County Sheriff Patrol Sergeant Chad Miller

This training has been going on for more than 15 years. This quarter’s training is only for one day and may take about 4 to 5 hours depending on how the practice goes. Future trainings may take multiple days.