Civil air patrol prepares for emergencies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Shelby County Airport will become the home base this Friday for the Alabama Wing Civil Air Patrol.

The group will conduct a four-day hurricane preparedness exercise at the Calera site that will include 10 aircraft and 50 volunteers.

&8220;In real emergencies, you have to be prepared and trained to do anything,&8221; Shelby County civil air patrol wing commander Johnny Ward said.

Training exercises at the event will include photo reconnaissance, medical supply, survey and EMA personnel flights.

&8220;Everyone involved in the air patrol is a volunteer,&8221; Ward said. &8220;We have retired people, doctors lawyers and business owners.&8221;

Ward said the patrol conducts the drills periodically.

&8220;We can help out in a hurricane or severe weather situation as well as conduct search and rescue missions,&8221; he said.

The patrol, which is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force also participates in aerospace education programs, homeland security and a cadet program for youth ages 13 to 18.

Fifteen planes and over 100 volunteers will participate in the drill across Alabama