My Fire Department has asked me to put together a training program that we can start in the pool... and move to the lake.  Specifically, they want something to get THEIR staff oriented to their new rescue boat and basket.  I think that they will also be interested in a bunker (fall in the pool) training and a fitness swim program. 


What other pools have developed cross-over programs for their Fire Departments that go beyond the in-water spinal practice?


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The New Jersey State Police has developed a water rescue program for first responders that would meet many of your departments objectives. This course was co-developed with the Ocean City Fire/Rescue, Ocean City Beach Patrol and Brigantine Beach Patrol. The program is taught at the awareness, operation, and technician level (NFPA Standards). For more information contact S/Sgt. John Schreiner at the Atlantic City Marine Station 609 441-3587 or Or email me at

My pool works closely with the local Fire Dept's and Sheriff's Marine Deputies. We are invited to send LGI's out on the river for joint trainings where we teach basic water rescue elements, such as how to safely enter the water, approach an active victim, use a rescue tube etc. In addition we do 2 or 3 live drills a year with the Fire Dept, coordinated with 911 Dispatch so that the Lifeguards, Paramedics, and 911 Dispatchers all get practice working together. It has really helped foster mutual respect between the multiple services and increase the morale of my staff when they get treated as equals by the paramedics. I've even got some staff (myself included) who have joined the local Volunteer Fire Dept. since we began working with them.
Do you ever work with their boating equipment? My Fire Department has discovered that they have trouble getting a victim over the back transom.
yes, when we are in the river we work on adapting LG extrication procedures to work with boats. All participating agencies use jet boats with lowered decks off the stern so we don't really have as much difficulty with that. We have found that extrication works best when all available personnel can go to the stern of the boat, bringing the vertical distance that the victim has to be moved down.... We've found that in order to find the best way to use the equipment involves trial and error.


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