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Emergency crews conduct vital training on Lake Simcoe

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Emergency crews took part in a joint training scenario on Lake Simcoe in Ramara Township on Wednesday.

The training event, organized by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), aims to ensure that first responders are well-prepared to deal with land and water emergencies.

"We see incidents all the time in heavily wooded areas as well as on the water. All these services do that are here. We all work next door to each other, and it is very important to have these scenarios to make sure we know how to handle them," said OPP Const. Derek Tilley.

The collaborative training allows different agencies to synchronize their response efforts and sharpen their skills.

"With the turnover of personnel over the last few years, we are maintaining our skills and trying to pass on the knowledge over the next few years," said OPP Sgt. Matt Stoner.

Ontario Provincial Police conduct training on Lake Simcoe on Wed., Sept. 6, 2023. (Supplied: OPP)

Fire crews, police and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre out of Trenton participated in the water-based search and rescue operation.

"They're going to have their helicopter and their HERC airplane in the air searching for a randomly placed dummy in the water searching grid patterns locating a missing person," said Tilley.

Emergency services conduct crucial training on Lake Simcoe on Wed., Sept. 6, 2023. (Supplied: OPP)

The focus of the training extended beyond individual skills and emphasized the need to work as a cohesive group, particularly concerning communication.

"This is similar to what we would all react to on Lake Simcoe. The scenario is set up so that we're all reacting in a similar fashion, but we have to coordinate at the same time and get our radio communications down pat," said Stoner.

The training will continue Thursday both on land and water.

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