Maple Grove Fire Department Deploys New Water Rescue Boats
The Maple Grove Fire Department has new tools to help them with water rescues. The department recently purchased two new rescue boats, each used for different response situations.
One of them is an 18-foot aluminum rescue boat used for larger lakes, which replaces a 40-year-old model the department had been using. The other is a 14-foot inflatable Zodiac watercraft, which is designed for getting onto bodies of water without an easy access point.
CCX News caught up with the Maple Grove Fire Department on Weaver Lake as paid-on call volunteers received their initial training with the new equipment. Since every second counts in a life-saving situation, the training is an essential timesaver.
“With everything that we do in the fire service it comes down to training and repetition,” said Maple Grove Fire Chief Tim Bush. “We don’t want the first time that a firefighter uses this equipment to be during an emergency.”
The training involved everything from learning how to take the boats off their trailer to identifying all their equipment and features.
“We have a lot of significant lakes and a lot of smaller lakes. So our new boat combination gives us a larger boat for lakes like Weaver Lake and Eagle Lake, Fish Lake,” said Bush.
The new boats will provide help in addition to the service the Hennepin County Sheriff’s water patrol can provide.
“Any large body of water in Hennepin County, Sheriff’s water patrol has the primary responsibility, but they’re coming from Lake Minnetonka,” Bush explained.
Bush says having these boats available could save precious time if they’re needed.
“Much of what we do in the fire department is practicing for emergencies and then hoping we don’t actually have to do the emergency,” he said.