Amazing helicopter rescue of flood victim caught on camera - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Amazing helicopter rescue of flood victim caught on camera

Source: National Guard Source: National Guard

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF ) - Even though it has been more than a month since the flood hit, the destruction it left behind is still hard to believe. Video captured by a rescue crew is a reminder of how real the flood was.

Imagine flood waters taking over your car, causing you to abandon it, and hanging on to a tree nearby wondering if these will be the last moments of your life. That's what's happening in video from the October flood in Sumter County, only the South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, or SC-HART turns the story around and saves a man's life.

The guy you see in the video being hoisted out of a helicopter to save the man is Myrtle Beach Firefighter Henry Hickman.

"It feels really good to know you were able to help somebody, you were able to give back and provide these people another chance,” Hickman said.

“Currently the team is comprised of 15 rescue swimmers, one Command, two Logistics, two Medical Specialist, that is supported by approx. 12 fire departments and EMS agencies from around the state. This team is also supported by 24 aircrew from the National Guard. That includes 12 pilots and 12 crew chiefs that have achieved the advanced level of certifications to fly with the hoist and human lives hanging underneath it,” according to a SC-HART spokesperson.

Of the 15 rescue swimmers, five of them come from the Myrtle Beach and Horry County Fire Departments.

"We had the perfect team put together for what we were faced with and like I said, I was only a very small part of it, in no way could we have done it without every single person that was there,” Hickman said.

To be on the team requires years of training with the South Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, according to team members.

Most of their rescue efforts by SC-HART during the flood, targeted people stuck in homes, but team members told me each one was successful because of intensive training.

"There was no nervousness there were no jitters, it was very fluid and the years we had spent training, prior to this event have paid off tremendously,” Hickman said.

SC-HART members must fly in a variety of conditions, open ocean, mountain, waterfall, swift water, flood, on objects such as cars, buildings, open fields, in trees, etc., preparing for the absolute worst case scenarios, to be the best of the best when it comes to helicopter rescue.

This way, if someone you know goes missing, drowns, or a flood happens, they're ready in seconds.

"We don't get chosen to be a part of the team we choose to do it on our own time,” Kenneth Chapman with the MBFD and SC-HART said. "We want to provide a service for the citizens, we get more specialized training than we would at the fire department."

"Give them the satisfaction that anything comes up, we can handle it, that's why they call 911,” member Bob Horn said.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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