CFD aquires inflatible boats to aid in search and rescue

The Collierville Fire Department’s newest safety tools are two inflatable rescue boats that can go from completely deflated in a storage bag to completely inflate within 10 minutes of arrival at a rescue scene. 

Given the fact of the numerous bodies of water in and around the Collierville area, and the increasing popularity of canoeing and kayaking as leisure pastimes, the CFD is making every effort to stay trained in water rescue. 

The two 430-SR-L (430-Search and Rescue – Light) inflatable boats were built by INMAR Marine Group. Each boat measures 14 feet in length and 6.5 feet in width, weighs 253 pounds and can carry up to 8 persons or 2395 pounds. The ‘Light†in the name refers to the air floor, which aids in the quick set up of the boat. Each boat is powered by a 25 horse power Suzuki Four-Stroke outboard motor. 

Chief Tommy Kelley said that training with the new boats is under way and will continue through spring and summer. Though all fire department personnel will be trained to an awareness level and in proper care and set up of the boats and motors, the actual water rescue requires 40 to 80 hours of specialized training. 

Those who finish the training become certified to work at the Operations and Technicians levels in water rescue and must train annually to retain their certification. The CFD currently has 17 staff members trained to the Water Technician Level. 

The Collierville Fire Department and other fire departments within Shelby County have worked in association with the Tennessee Task Force One for the past 15-20 years. 

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This Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team based in Memphis trains firefighters in search and rescue technique for land and water, and keeps local rescue workers ready for situations as they arise. 

As an extension of this association, the CFD trains its firefighter and rescue worker personnel to be well-versed and well-equipped in the latest rescue technique and equipment. 

 

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