In December 2016, volunteers enjoyed Cold Water and Ice Rescue training in/on Loheed’s Pond here on the island.
It was COLD.
The department purchased two ice rescue suits last year using a safety enhancement grant from the Maine Municipal Association (MMA), the town’s insurance carrier. A training grant from MMA made it possible for us to send three WVFD members to Ice and Cold Water Rescue Training provided by Rescue Safety Systems (RSS) of Kennebunkport, ME.
Volunteers who did not attend the RSS training learned how to be effective shore support team members and acquired the necessary skills to make ice rescue as safe as possible.
The training was very effective and enjoyed by all who were able to attend (despite the fact that it was 15 degrees!).
The team practiced self-rescues, sling-rescues, and rescues using life rings and the Stokes stretcher.
Westport Volunteer Fire Department now has four Ice/Cold Water Certified Rescue Technicians:
Deputy Chief Jason Abbott and firefighters Paul Arthur, Lou Babineau, and Michael Hughes.
Participants unanimously agreed it was great training and want to practice again at a different site with different conditions. The winter is sure to offer multiple opportunities for that!