Area Boy Scouts combed the Beaver Township Nature Preserve on Saturday, Aug. 24 looking for lost hikers, rescuing a hunter from a tree, and assisting victims of a tornado. The mock rescues, created by Troop 60 of Boardman, gave Scouts from four area troops the chance to use their skills in real-life disaster situations.
Scouts ranging from 11 to 17 years of age participated and applied techniques they have learned in first aid, search and rescue, emergency preparedness, orienteering, leadership, and more. They used the drill to complete elements toward merit badges and to satisfy requirements toward their next rank.
This is the second year Troop 60 has sponsored this type of event. This year, the event was held at the Beaver Township Nature Preserve located on Ohio 165. They were assisted by the Boardman Police Department, Beaver Township Fire Department, EMTs, helicopter services from Stat Med and Gobel's Towing. The Scouts chose this location for their drill because of its semi-remote location, knowing that many of the boys would be unfamiliar with the territory thus increasing the challenge of the event.
Photos by Melissa Moliterno, Town Crier correspondent
Local Boy Scout troop members bring the “injured” hiker that they found lost in the woods to the STAT Med Evac helicopter during their emergency disaster drill training on Saturday, Aug. 24. Five troops worked together on the drill to apply techniques they have learned.
"This was a great way to test our skills. This drill took a long while to put together, but I think it really went great," said Devin Patton, who helped put together the drill.
The Scouts participated in three drills during the day. In the first, the boys had to find two lost hikers. After systematically scouring the nature preserve, the Scouts located the hikers then had to find a location for helicopter response services to land to transport the victims to the hospital.
Anthony Habuda, one of the Scouts who helped coordinate the event, recently attended Boy Scouts National Youth Leadership Training Program and said he was excited to share the skills he has learned and apply them to this drill.
For the second scenario, Boy Scouts used GPS coordinates to track down a missing hunter. After finding him stuck in a tree, the boys had to use their knot tying skills to construct a 15-foot ladder to bring him to safety.
Tornado devastation with many injuries and lots of debris set the stage for the third drill. The Scouts encountered many victims, some requiring CPR, others with broken arms, several had severe cuts and lacerations, and they even had a body trapped under a car. The Beaver Township Fire Department played an active roles as evaluators and reviewers and demonstrating life saving techniques and tools like the airlift bags and the Jaws of Life.
"Overall the drill was a great success," said Quinton Currior, senior patrol leader for troop 60. "The boys spend lots of hours learning the skill and it is events like this that allow us the opportunity to put our skills to the test."
This year's event included more than 40 boys from troop 60 in Boardman, troop 80 in North Lima, troop 22 in Youngstown, and troop 49 from New Middletown.