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Plan and win

  • Release Date:2015-04-29
  • Source:NASC

“Be safe and watch out for weather changes.” The duty officer at the duty command center of National Airborne Service Corps always says this at the end of his/her radio communications to the air crews on the way to rescue.
As usual, the telephone at the desk of the duty command center of the Corps kept ringing. A duty officer pocked up an aircraft request form and was busy in talking to the requesting agency, while monitoring which crew was flying what mission through the information system. The other officer was talking to helicopters about their flight, while keeping flight logs and texting all those people of the Corps involved about mission dispatching. Only two officers were on duty and busy at what they were doing but in an orderly fashion.
Late at night on Mar 28 2015, the Corps received a call from National Fire Agency requesting a helicopter rescue, as a mountain hiker fell into a gorge and had a broken bone in Dakuai Mountain at Fonglin, Hualien. Instructor Wang, Tzi-Fu, one of the officers on duty that night, checked the mission location and local weathers immediately on the information system. Instantly, Instructor Wang had a plan in his mind. This job required B-234. Wang remembered that this was a mission in Huanlien and it seemed reasonable to send Squadron 3, 1st Wing stationed at Hualien for this job. However, the altitude of the location had to be taken into consideration. At the first, light, therefore, the crew of the B-234, numbered NA-603, of Squadron 1, 3rd Wing stationed in Tainan was dispatched for rescue, and they got the job done successfully. Later that day around 12:40, another call came in. The Coast Guard Administration requested a rescue mission at sea as a fishing boat, the “En Sheng,” capsized at the water of Kinmen Island and 3 fishermen went overboard. At 13:45, another cal was received again from Coast Guard Administration that another fishing boat, the “Ying Yu,” capsized and 3 went overboard. Instructor Wang said that no one knows what will happen at when. As a duty officer, one has to know an aircraft from inside out and have a detailed understanding what mission is to be dispatched.
Thank you, buddies!
It was learned from text messages that a series of fires broke out from north to south probably due to people burning paper offerings while sweeping their ancestor’s tombs on Apr 4, the Tomb Sweeping Day when the climate was dry; The search was still ongoing for the missing fishermen in the vicinity of Kinmen Island; a person was found drowning in the water in Hualien just offshore at the berthing area; the hiker in Dalili Mountains, Taitung required medical evacuation for his broken leg; almost everyone at the front line had his/her hands full. “I was on an off day on Apr 4 but I still learned how the missions went down through text messages,” said Wang, “some missions are carried over to the next shift, and you have to have a plan of what to do before your shift is up. I had a thought and plan for what to do next before I was taking my shift on Apr 5.”
The duty officers are on call at the duty command center of National Airborne Service Corps 24-7 for mission requests, dispatching and commanding. Instructor Wang, who have more than 30 years of experience flying and was a rescue worker of the year by National Rescue Command Center and National Airborne Service Corps in 2010, knows what an aircraft can and cannot do like the back of his hand. As humble as he is, he said it is an honor to work for the Corps. Safety is always the top priority when a mission is requested. As the front line boys are out on a mission, the anxiety and concern will never go away until every one of them comes back and lands safely. The duty officers are just a small part of a big machine in charge of communications and coordination. It is just a job. With that said, we feel what the families of the rescued feel, and of course we want to save everyone in need as fast as possible, since this is our job and duty. Instructor Wang never feels the job is difficult and complains about it. One can feel the genuine sincerity in his talks, as the job has already become a part of his life. One cannot help but admiring what he has done for people.