Teams practice rescue skills

FROM STAFF REPORTSAugust 14, 2009 

Nearly a decade ago, when Hurricane Floyd dumped up to 2 feet of rain on Eastern North Carolina, rescue teams pulled residents of the Pinecrest Mobile Home Park in Greenville from their flooded homes.

Thursday, teams from around the state returned to the site, now a barren training ground, to practice using a helicopter, ropes and harnesses to pluck people from the tops of cars, buses and buildings.

The training, as the height of hurricane season approaches, was organized by the state Division of Emergency Management and included fire departments from Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh.

State officials say the skills and experience of local search and rescue teams have improved since 1999, when most had little or no training helping people in flooded homes or cars.

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