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Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force Called to Assist in Search


By BILL XIKIS
BTRTF LIASISON & RESCUE TECHNICIAN

WADING RIVER, NY - On June 2, 2009 at about 10:45 a.m. the Brookhaven Technical Rescue Task Force (BTRTF) was activated (through Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services) by the Riverhead Police Department for a Level 1 wilderness search response. This was suggested to the PD by Chris Padden of Long Island Search and Rescue who was already on scene with his group. Selden Fire, Holtsville Fire and SUNY Fire Marshals responded with a total of thirteen to Wildwood State Park in Wading River, tent camping area Echo.

The Task Force was split into five groups; two members at Command, two with a LISAR bloodhound and three search groups of three members each.

The three search groups were given a color coded path and did a search to each side of the path. This totaled over ten miles of pathway.

At one point as groups were reporting their progress and location LISAR Chris Padden called in a report of a found sweatshirt on an unmarked path in the northwest corner of the park. One search group was back at staging getting rehab, one was returning, and one was completing its search area. The bloodhound group was requested back to the CP were Riverhead PD was waiting to take them to the area Chris Padden was in. The dog would be used to see if the sweatshirt was the missing persons. We had other articles of his clothes at his camp site.

BTRTF member Brain Yoos was pulling into the parking lot when a waiting Park Police vehicle spotted the missing man walking out of the woods. A radio call came in from them requesting EMS and additional PD.

This whole incident started at 6:00 a.m. as a domestic dispute were this individual sliced his wrists and disappeared into the woods. Once it was confirmed to be the missing individual, BTRTF was dismissed.