Ocala (FL) – Ocala (FL) Fire Rescue Firefighters dashed through the swimming lanes at Jervey Gantt Aquatic Center to retrieve drowning “victims” during a water training exercise this morning.
Fourteen Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters took turns performing the roles of victims and rescuers in an aquatic training exercise focused on effective removal of patients in distress from a body of water. Immobilizing patients in resting water, patient packaging, rescues with varying victim profiles (i.e. aggressive swimmer, unconscious patient, victim with spinal injury), and firefighter behavior in case of accidental water entry while wearing full gear (with and without air pack) were demonstrated.
“With summer showers falling almost every evening, filling retention ponds to capacity, patient removal techniques from aquatic settings could be needed at any moment”, explained Captain Robert Osteen from Ocala Fire Rescue. “This training is part of the preventative measures the department takes to ensure both the citizens and firefighters remain safe during rescues”.
Between Friday, August 21st and this morning’s exercise a total of twenty nine Ocala Fire Rescue Firefighters completed the water training session. Ten Marion County Fire Rescue Firefighters also participated.