In our town, we are surrounded by various bodies of water that pose unique risks. From the expansive bay to the meandering river and over 100 ponds scattered throughout, water-related emergencies are a potential reality we must be prepared for.Ice rescue risks:
Living here, the likelihood of falling through the ice is greater than being burned in a fire. While most people respect the bay and possess some level of preparedness, we have already conducted several rescues in this area. The river also presents its own set of risks, with snowmobile and ATV tracks often seen on its icy surface during winter. However, the highest risk factor lies in our numerous small ponds, where children frequently engage in outdoor play. It's during those warmer spring days, when the air temperature entices youngsters outside while the pond's ice remains, that problems arise.
To effectively address these risks, our fire department diligently engages in ice water rescue training every two years. In addition, we have equipped ourselves with four ice water rescue suits. Furthermore, in the worst-case scenario, we have three certified divers capable of submerging themselves in the water to perform necessary rescue operations.
The role of certified divers:
"Why do we need certified divers?" you may ask. The answer lies in witnessing ice rescues on platforms like YouTube. You'll notice that many of these incidents occur on warmer winter days, involving children in their backyard ponds. What starts as innocent fun quickly turns into a perilous situation when a child unexpectedly falls through the ice, experiencing the biting coldness of the water. Within moments, their motor skills begin to falter, rendering them trapped and unable to use their arms and legs effectively. Tragically, some victims slip beneath the ice before rescuers can reach them. In such critical moments, rescuers and bystanders must helplessly await the arrival of a dive team to navigate under the ice and retrieve the victim. Time becomes an invaluable resource, and we aim to expedite this process.
At the Pensaukee Fire Department, our goal is to enhance the speed and effectiveness of water rescue operations. That's why we have established our own dedicated dive team. We understand that swift action can make all the difference in saving lives during water-related emergencies.
Here's the best part: you don't have to be a firefighter or a resident of our town to join our dive team. We believe that anyone with the right attributes and a strong sense of teamwork, dedication, commitment, and the willingness to undergo necessary training can make a valuable contribution to our dive team. As long as you live within a reasonable driving distance of our fire station and possess the passion for making a difference in water rescue situations, we wholeheartedly invite you to become part of our team.Join us at the Pensaukee Water Rescue Team and embark on a rewarding journey where you can save lives, demonstrate your teamwork skills, and showcase your unwavering dedication. Together, we will undergo comprehensive training, honing our abilities to provide effective and efficient water rescue services to our community.