Members Complete Water Rescue Emergency Response
By Firefighter Jeff Cole
May 2, 2022

Over the weekend members of the Downingtown Fire Department participated in Water Rescue Emergency Response (Operations) instructed by White Cap Water Rescue Training starting on Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning personnel spent time in the classroom learning various topics such as water dynamics, incident planning, equipment, medical considerations, and techniques. At the end of the classroom session all personnel passed a written exam.

On Saturday afternoon personnel went to Tel Hai Retirement Community to complete the 100-yard swimming requirement and practice additional self rescue techniques. We’d like to thank them for allowing us to use their pool.
On Sunday crews spent 6 hours on the Schuylkill River in Reading, PA completing the practical session of the class. During this time personnel completed skill stations in self rescue, throwing rope bags to victims, setting up and using a double line floating tether, 3 person river crossing, and navigating over a strainer.

For some of our members this was a refresher and for others it was their first time participating in water rescue operations. We’d like to congratulate the following people for becoming part of the Downingtown Fire Department Water Rescue Team
Alert Fire Co. No. 1
Captain McCarraher
Lieutenant Santiago
Lieutenant Poulin
Firefighter Simmers

Minquas Fire Company No.2
Lieutenant/EMT DiFrancesco
Firefighter/EMT/Engineer Yannes
FIrefighter/EMT/Engineer Wachter
Firefighter/EMT Kouba
Firefighter Jennings

The next step in this process is for members to begin technician level training in Boat Operations, Advanced Line Systems, and Ice Rescue Operations.

We'd like to recognize FF Jennings who recently joined our fire company earlier this year as a volunteer. This was his first formal training class, which he excelled in all aspects throughout the course. He brings a positive mindset and an incredible work ethic that motivates everyone around him. Congratulations JJ and we’re all excited to see everything you can achieve in the volunteer fire service!

Congratulations to all our members and the three members from Lionville Fire Company for completing this class!

All photos courtesy of Todd Stahl, White Cap Water Rescue