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Suffolk County Joint Water Rescue Excercise

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Mastic  Beach N.Y.-  On  Sunday May 7th, 2023 The Moriches Bay Marine Incident Response team {MIRT} held a joint Marine incident helocast training with the Suffolk County Police Aviation and Marine Bureau officers as well as the United States Coast Guard  in the Narrows Bay near Smith Point County Park.  


Just before 10AM the assest from the Police as well as local fire and EMS agencies met at the Smith Point Marina which was designated as the stagging area for the exercise. Here a review of personnel and assets available was conducted prior to the mission briefing being given. EMS Rehab and a  helicopter landing zone were also both established at the marina prior to the launching of watercraft.  Fire Police and Park Rangers  assisted with securing  areas of the marina and Smith Point County Park as well as directing non-emergency vehicles  through safely .  After the briefing was conducted Suffolk Police Marine  Mike and the United States coast guard went out and did a sweep of the training area and assisted and directed  non-emergency watercraft outside of the training zone. So that the Fire and other emergency boats could safely enter the training zone and operate.


Once the training zone was deemed secure  members of the various fire deparments as well as EMS personnel launched on fire boats  from the marina to the Narrows Bay to prepare for rescue swimmers to be deployed from  Suffolk PD Helo 3. The departments that are members of the Marine Incident Response Team  took turns recovering the survivor and rescue swimmer using various watercraft such as Small and large  safe boats and fire suppression boats, Zodiacs,  and jetskis. Various equipment was used including sleds, stokes baskets and more  to assist in removing the survivor.  About 8 evolutions were  conducted during this training period to give all deparments a chance to participate and  allow  some neighboring departments to work together.


Communications between the departments operating were conducted via testing the New Public Safety talk group. The public safety talk group was created to allow inter department communication between Police, Fire and  EMS agencies in the event of a water rescue or other large-scale  search and rescue operation. This talk groups goal is to minimize the amount of time that it takes  to get information to all parties involved and also minimizes having to use Police or fire dispatchers to relay information from  one group to another  by providing critical direct communication between all assets on scene.  Prior to the  creation of this talk group police officers  in helicopters or police boats  or on land would have to ask the police dispatcher to relay info to a fire dispatcher via landline or other forms of communication  which would then be relayed by the fire dispatcher to fire  units  or medcom dispatcher to medical units and vice versa.  


In addition to training on deploying from  a helicopter to rescue survivors and load them on watercraft EMS personnel were  deployed on a fire boat  in case of a real-world emergency  and additional EMS personnel were located  at the staging area and conducted  rehab of the Rescue Swimmers and survivors  and emergency personnel that participated in the drill exercise to ensure there were no issues.  Training together provides critical preparation for all the agencies so that should a real emergency occur, and these assets need to be deployed  that the situation runs smoothly, and everyone knows their departments roles in the operation.

 Abount 100  plus personnel from the following Departments  and agencies  participated in this training Center Moriches Fire Department , East Port Fire Department , East Moriches Fire Department , Mastic Fire Department , Mastic Beach Fire Department  , West Hampton Beach Fire Department , Brookhaven Fire Department ,  Mastic Ambulance, Mastic Beach Ambulance, Shirley Community Ambulance  Stony Brook University Hospital and their Flight Medic Program, Suffolk Police Aviation , Suffolk Police Marine Bureau  and the United States Coast Guard Station Shinnecock . The  training was also attended by by several  VIP Guests from areas of State and local government. The training lasted about 4 hours  from 10 AM to 2PM and was a success and no real-world emergencies occurred during the training.

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JOHN WALTHERSSenior Correspondent

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