Getting water-ready: crews train for water rescues
LITCHFIELD BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Critical calls come into Midway Fire Rescue when it comes to rescue missions, and those calls are only going to increase as we head into the summer season. Emergency responders are rushing the waves to get ready.
Despite the rain, teams of firefighters hit the beach on Wednesday to train in the ocean. They first practiced on land by discussing hand signals and the best way to approach a victim in the water.
The department prides itself on being an over-all emergency system, responding to fires, medical and water rescue calls. This training is innovative in nature, leaving the jet skis and watercraft on land as the team learns how to become their own type of machine.
It also utilizes new resources, such as a rescue board which cuts down on response time and manpower. It pushes the team out of their comfort zone, so they build the muscle memory in times of emergencies.
“The more confident that they know what they're capable in doing the more they can do for swimmers in distress and for their overall safety,” explained Patrick Moses with Midway Fire Rescue.
Moses, along with District Chief James Payne, spearheaded the training project.
“We get members in the water to do swim versions and swim test and to extract victims from the water,” Payne said.
Similar training will be held all week in different bodies of water to get every emergency responder with the department ready for water rescues.