Rescue personnel from the Office of the Fire Commissioner and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service demonstrated an aerial rescue mission Wednesday near the Red River Floodway.
Helicopter aerial support has been added by the province in the event people need to be rescued while stranded by floods or other situations where access to a road may not be available.
The crew is made up of eight members — four from the province and four from the city — and will be on standby 24 hours a day during the spring flood.
Premier Greg Selinger and St. Vital Councillor Gord Steeves made the announcement east of the floodway control structure prior to the 10-minute demonstration.
“Building on our strong public safety model, this team will be ready to respond to assist municipalities and citizens in the event of an emergency,” Selinger said. “We hope that all the preparations and advance notice to residents will mean we won’t need to deploy this lifesaving rescue team, but at the same time we want to be ready just in case.”
The Office of the Fire Commissioner has also retained a heavy-lift helicopter, which will be moved to different areas of the province depending on the flood situation.