The 304th Rescue Squadrom, a US Air Force Reserve unit has been testing out new Small Pack Aerial Rescue Kits (SPARK) over the last couple of weeks to use in Oregon this year. These kits are designed to help lost hikers or campers who may not be able to be reached by ground search and rescue crews but who are spotted by Civil Air Patrol. All too often the Oregon Sheriff’s Association has found that victims can be spotted overhead but nothing can be done by the air crew but continue to circle. These new kits are hiking or camping survival kits that can be dropped down to unprepared outdoors people.
Each kit includes:
A radio: This is a vital piece of equipment, according to those putting together this new kit because it allows the lost individuals to communicate with rescue crews as to whether they have injuries, need medication or are equipped to stay over night, thus avoiding a costly night rescue.
Canteen, drinking water, water purification tablets
Survival blanket or sleeping bag
Strobe light, LED light
First Aid Kit
A whistle, Insect repellent and 100-foot cord
All of the kits will be put together and customized for the time of year, outdoor location and other factors.