Saturday, June 23, PCFD 13 held their first extensive water rescue training on our new Zodiac vessel at the Brown’s Point Improvement Club Boat launch. Approximately 15 department members with EMT training learned how to launch the Marine Unit, practiced Helmsman maneuvers and use of the water commanders (special parbuckle straps used to pull people from the water). The water commanders were co-developed by PCFD 13 and their manufacturing partners specifically for surface water rescue from the boat, and worked like a charm.
Training began with apparatus familiarization of the Marine Unit on land, and then progressed to dry operations with our station manikin, fondly referred to as “dead Fred.” After members felt familiar with the equipment, operations were moved to the beach. Shallow rescue efforts with Dead Fred were practiced and the best method for deploying the water commanders was determined.
Finally, rescue teams (2 rescuers and 1 Helmsman) were loaded onto the boat and operated in tandem with shore crew (2 people: one “last seen” and one “safety”), to rescue fellow department members in dry suits in deep water. Operations went very smoothly, and Chief McCollum considered the day’s training to be very successful.