Coast Guard, local first responders hold flare training in Hampton

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The Coast Guard and local first responders had a busy night Wednesday in the waters Hampton.

Thankfully, the agencies were not there for an emergency.

The Coast Guard and several agencies from the commonwealth of Virginia are holding flare training and exercises to better prepare them for search and rescue operations.

170 first responders from 32 agencies participated. The training tested different types of flares and officials said doing this is critical for response time and their rescue efforts. 

We’re told the training will also help the agencies to familiarize themselves with the waters in this area. Officials say the Coast Guard and surrounding agencies responded to about 300 calls for help on the water. They said the training lets all of the agencies know what each other’s capabilities are. 

“We want to put them, get them out of their box so to speak, so then that way it gives them the confidence they can do it but also, it gives them confidence to say ‘we can’t go,’” said Bill Burket, director of maritime incident and response team and emergency operations for Port of Virginia.

“We’re running through the plays, we’re working together, we’re communicating so when the real thing actually comes, we have a much higher chance of success,” said Kevin Carroll, Commander of Coast Guard sector Hampton roads

The training will continue on Thursday with helicopter exercises and they will also be doing another nighttime training.

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