Member of the St. Marys Fire Department underwent practical training in Water Rescue on Saturday, August 19th.
In 2016 it was identified that the Town of St. Marys Fire Department personnel were not NFPA 1006 Water and Ice rescue qualified. With drowning being one of the leading causes of accidental death in Canada, water rescue training is essential for first responders so they can take appropriate action when responding to water incidents. The Town of St. Marys Fire Department protecting areas have numerous types of water systems, including but not limited to, the Thames River, Trout Creek, two quarries and the Wildwood Lake. It was imperative that the firefighters receive these qualifications immediately to face unique challenges when it comes to water and ice rescue equipment, training, and operations. Town Council approved an increase Operational funding of $5000 in 2016 so that the Fire Department could purchase Water and Ice rescue equipment. As well the Fire Department received an increase in funding for professional development to have the firefighters trained in water and ice rescue.
The Fire Department currently have three qualified NFPA 1006 Water and Ice rescue Instructors and the Fire Department is currently receiving water rescue training this summer. Ice rescue training will take place in the Fall/winter of 2017.
The RDC, Rapid Deployment Craft, (pictured right) is the safest, most durable, easiest to use, rescue boat ever made. The craft surrounds one or more rescuers in an ultra-buoyant and protective inflated perimeter. The RDC allows a rescuer or rescue team to quickly reach a victim and safely retrieve them from the still water, ice or cold water rescue situations. While on the ice, they are protected from falling through a fracture into the water. In a combination ice and open water situation, the RDC can be paddled across open water or broken ice and water by one or two rescue technicians.