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Fundamentals of Open Water Rescue

Fins and Rescue Flotation Devices: A Winning Combination

Give its extensive history, the fire service is fairly new to the open water rescue. As more people have the means to venture into the open water with wave runners, kayaks, two- day scuba classes, and stand-up paddle boards, firefighters are often thrust into the role of open water rescuer. A few municipalities—Ventura County, California; Bay County, Florida; Kauai County, Hawaii; Pierce County, Washington; New York City; and Sea Bright, New Jersey–have fire departments that have made successful water rescues for decades even before modern lifeguard services were available.

Over the last 20 years several municipalities have absorbed lifeguard operations. City of San Diego, Los Angeles County, and Miami Beach lifeguards perform their duties under command of the fire department using equipment that was designed and procedures that were developed long before falling under the umbrella of the fire service. Whether you are a firefighter rescue swimmer or lifeguard paramedic, rescue fins and a modern rescue flotation device (RFD) should be readily available for open water rescue.

Please read the full and extensive article @ FireEngineering