PHOTOS: Lakewood’s EMS Takes Delivery of New Ice Rescue Equipment

essu ice rescue 1PHOTOS: The Lakewood Township Department of Emergency Services Support Unit (ESSU) has received a Grant from the Fire House Subs Restaurant, Philadelphia, accepting four Sterns Cold Water / Ice Rescue Suits and Two Ice rescue harnesses valued at $2,150.00.

This cold weather rescue equipment will advance the Joint response team of Lakewood Police / EMS and Volunteer Squads of Lakewood and Hatzolah. This grant will establish a stronger emergent response to any water related incident(s) with in Lakewood township. The new cold-water equipment will be added to the two current suits already in service by the Police Department. These additional suits will allow the rescuers to now work as a more diverse team from the rescuer on the shore-line to deploying staff in the water by boat or jet ski to get to the individuals in distress.

Scott Carter, EMS Chief, said, “The grant will allow us to standardize water response through our joint response team with two suits place in our Water Rescue Unit and Two suits located in the two front line township ambulances. These Cold Water Suits provide the medical staff with the ability to step into an environment that would have been detrimental to the rescuer in the past. The Suits and Harnesses will allow the rescuers more time on task to retrieve someone who is stranded in the cold water environment while maintaining a emergency back up team.”

The suits allow the trained rescuer to enter either onto the ice or into the water without the risk of hypothermia, which begins as soon as an individual is exposed to any temperature below your normal body temperature. Hypothermia is a challenge to rescuers as the person who is outside in the elements will not respond to the commands required and may actual injure a rescuer due to the body not being able to follow the commands and the brain shutting down to preserve key body functions.

essu 2These suits will work in conjunction with the other water capabilities on the Emergency Services Support Unit (ESSU) to provide high quality resuscitative care to individuals in a time of crisis.

The goal according to Lakewood First Aid Captain Moe Heinemann is to “Be prepared for any request”, this includes educating the public to “stay off of the water unless you have the proper life jackets” and remember that “No Ice is safe, no matter how cold it is”.

Heinemann adds that the team can always use donations from the public to help cover the costs of new vital equipment. To donate towards additional ice rescue equipment, or to the department in general, you can do so on the squad’s website http://www.lakewoodfirstaid.org/, or call 732-905-3014. [TLS]

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