With warmer weather on the horizon for most of the United States and Canada, that means people will start hitting the water in canoes, kayaks, and other water crafts. Water rescue is something that no department is really exempt from. A vehicle can easily leave the roadway and end up in some type of body of water like a pond, creek, river or lake. Since these type of calls tend to be high risk, low-frequency for many departments training is critical for a successful rescue.
A rope throw bag is a very useful, inexpensive piece of rescue equipment that can be safety deployed from the shore or a watercraft, the rope throw bag. Rope throw bag training is easy to setup and practice at almost any fire station. Training can take place outside or inside the apparatus bays. Almost anything can be used as a target or “mock” victim. A tire or a water rescue ring buoy make great low-profile targets. Have your crew don their personal flotation devices to add realism to the training. Make the victim your target and get the bag past the victim so the rope lands on them.
The video below from our training partners, Rescue Methods, explains the different types of throws you can use deploying a rope throw bag. Several other important tips and techniques are covered.
Drone PFD Deployment
Drone’s are useful in many different disciplines in the fire service.
The Wayne Township Fire Department outside of Indianapolis, deployed their drone to take a PFD out to a victim in the water having trouble staying afloat. This another great example of how drones can be deployed quickly and with little to risk to the responders.
Checkout our previous post, Drones and Tech Rescue to learn about deployment systems.
Ice/Water Rescue Suits have zippers that need to be maintained to ensure flawless operation when we need a suit. Besides cleaning and drying, rescue suits require preventive maintenance of the zippers to keep operation smooth and fast. First, the zippers are gently brushed and raised with water to remove any foreign substances like sand, mud, salt, etc. Secondly, use a manufacturer approved lubricate like Zip Tech which is designed for extreme temperatures and contains no silicone or paraffin. Some manufacturers recommend to lubricant the outer elements of the zipper only. Make sure you follow the recommendation of your suit manufacturer. Open and close the zip twice and leave the zipper open. Lastly, store the suit per manufacturer recommendations and follow their folding guide for the suit.
Several different types of zippers are used in dry suits. The lubricating process is different from one to the other. A commonly used zipper on ice rescue suits are the PROSEAL® style. This type of zipper is lubricated on the teeth of the zipper directly. However, on an AQUASEAL® Zipper only the seal area should be lubricated.
Area to lubricate on an AQUASEAL® Zipper
Fire Hose Inflation System
Fire Hose Inflation System
Here is a great YouTube channel from Dale J. Pekel. His YouTube channel is a great training resource for the fire service.
In this video, Dale explains how to make a Fire Hose Inflation System that can be used in tech rescue operations as well as training around the firehouse.
This video outlines instructions for building a Hose Inflation System which can be used to enhance Firefighter Survival and RIT training. A commercially made setup can cost as much as $350.00, but a home made system can be assembled for as little $40 – $70.00.