Middletown First Aid Treads on Thin Ice To Practice Rescue Techniques
For several hours Saturday morning, dedicated first responders practiced water rescues at the partially frozen marina in Port Monmouth. Written by Bob Pfleger, Middletown Twp EMS spokesperson.
On a cold and overcast late January morning, with the temperature at 18 degrees and a breeze blowing off of the Raritan Bay making it even colder, a person walked out onto the ice at the Monmouth Cove Marina only to find out too late that the ice was not thick enough. The person fell through the ice, and had only minutes before hypothermia took over, and the victim succumbed to the cold.
Everything here is correct except for one detail – the “victim” was actually a first responder dressed in a dry suit, and the scene played out was to properly train EMS and firefighters how to properly handle such an emergency.
Saturday morning, Water Rescue Captain Lisa Reilly and Water Rescue Lieutenant Mike Kaiser, both of Middletown Township First Aid and Rescue Squad, held a drill at the Monmouth Cove Marina to test and enhance the ice rescue capabilities of our responders. Participating in this drill were EMS squads Middletown Township First Aid & Rescue, and Lincroft First Aid & Rescue, as well as firefighters from East Keansburg Fire Company.
A water rescue is inherently dangerous in itself, and a water rescue in sub freezing temperatures makes that rescue even more dangerous to the first responders trying to make the rescue.
Because of this, the five EMS departments in Middletown train as one unit, and also enjoy the help provided by the eleven fire companies in town, also.
As with any emergency situation, drills are conducted periodically to teach new members how to act and react, as well as hone the skills of those that have been practicing for years. The first goal in any emergency situation is not to become a victim ourselves, so constant practice pays off to keep everyone safe.
IF you are interested in joining one of the squads in town, please give us a call at the EMS office at (732) 615-2252. The water rescue teams can always use divers, but dive tenders and land based support people are equally as important to make a safe environment for all.