On 13 August, around 70 emergency response teams from the local fire brigade and alpine rescue service including flight and ground crew from Global Helicopter Service (GHS) conducted successful forest fire training in the Ruhpolding/Chiemgau Alps region in Bavaria, Germany.
As part of this exercise, a forest fire was assumed to have occurred across the Chiemgau arena in Ruhpolding/Bavaria, to be stemmed from the ground as well as by air. One of the main aims of the exercise was to train the fire brigades teams and helicopter flight and ground crews to collaborate. New techniques could then be shared as well as valuable experience gained in the interaction of the helicopter team and other organisations involved.
On 12 September, a larger combined disaster response exercise was carried out at the military training area in Kammer where GHS again supported the fire brigades with one of its Bell 412 helicopters as part of the exercise to simulate and train for different scenarios. Both training scenarios included several flights to familiarise ground personnel and helicopter crew by transporting loads up in the valley and dropping them in impassable terrain uphill, as well as dropping water with a Bambi Bucket. On the second occasion, the Bambi Bucket was also used to refill a water basin and 30 firefighters were deployed. With this, GHS was able to demonstrate that with the Bell 412 larger numbers of firefighters can be redeployed to inaccessible areas in the shortest time in order to get them to the places where they are needed most.
The exercises gave GHS good opportunities to test its internal procedures and equipment.