ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST - About 100 rescuers including firefighters, search and rescue teams and law enforcement officers spent three days this week practicing how to deal with major car crashes involving vehicles over the side of mountain roads.
Foothill officials are no strangers to mountain rescue operations, however the large drill carried out Tuesday through Thursday gave them practice for the the type of massive, multi-injury mountain crashes that would require multiple public safety agencies to work together, according to Lt. Andy Berg of the Los Angeles County sheriff's San Dimas Station.
"The ultimate goal of these exercises was to provide and open working relationship between county, state and federal resources to provide an efficient, unified response to incidents that occur in our local mountains, in order to provide life-saving services to the community we protect and serve," Berg said. "By all accounts, this goal was not only met but was exceeded."
Officials practiced coordinating with one another to perform rescues at simulated multi-vehicle, over the mountainside crashes, including ones involving buses. The simulated crashes were staged along Glendora Mountain Road and Mt. Baldy Road in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley.
Deputies and search and rescue team members from San Dimas and Sierra Madre, Los Angeles County and San Bernardino fire officials, California Highway Patrol officers and the Cole Schaefer ambulance company took part in the drill, Berg said.