Severe Thunderstorm & Tornado Warnings
On Saturday Evening, after being alerted to the possibility of a Tornado and Severe Thunderstorms, the call came into SBES to assist our partners in the Flemington Area when they got inundated with requests to rescue folks from cars stuck in rising water.
Flemington-Raritan First Aid & Rescue Squad initially requested our Special Services 365 high-water unit to assist with multiple water entrapped persons on Rt 202/31 in the area of Everitts Road. This was just the first of 12 separate incidents that our department assisted with in Raritan Township, East Amwell Township, Franklin Township and Clinton Township.
Units responding included Water Rescue 365-2 along with Marine 365-3 and an inflatable unit, Utility 365-1 who picked up another boat from Flemington Rescue's station to assist at calls, and the Special Services. Eleven members staffed these units, while an additional 9 personnel continued to staff our primary stations for both EMS & additional Rescue calls.
After clearing the initial calls, the units were staging in the Flemington Borough area along with units from West Amwell Fire, Whitehouse Rescue, Flemington's units and the Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management.
Units operated not only at the 12 dispatched calls, but multiple other assists along the way as they came upon other units. In total more than 2 dozen drivers who found themselves stuck in flash flood conditions were safely removed from vehicles and brought to drier land.
Our Water Rescue Technicians train locally through several private companies as well as with the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center, usually in the Delaware River, the closest "simulation" that we can produce to these types of conditions.
Two years ago, four rescuers from South Branch Emergency Services travelled to the NY State Preparedness Training Center where they have a full swiftwater rescue simulator for specialized training and preparedness for events like this weekend. Unfortunately, it is one of very few in the Country where First Responders can be trained in a safer & controlled environment, and one that our agency has been a supporter of building for many years.
If you would like information about joining our Water Rescue Team, or becoming an EMT with our agency, please visit www.SBES365.org
Clinton NJ - On Monday April 5th just after 4pm, South Branch Emergency Services was dispatched to the Round Valley Recreational Area for the reported kayaker who had fallen from his vessel due to rough chop, and was unable to get back in his kayak. The caller was the kayaker himself who was able to dial 9-1-1, and advise he was in the water with a life jacket on. The dispatcher was able to use newer technology to pinpoint the callers location on the water and send that directly to the responders on scene with GPS coordinates.
Marine 365-2 with water rescue crew, a BLS and Chief responded to the call within 5 minutes, and had our first boat on the water within 12 minutes. After a quick search of the water, the overturned kayak was spotted and rescue began. When arriving at the side of the victim, 2 others were found in the water with an overturned canoe. These two good Samaritans had heard the first boater calling for help, and had come to his aid.
Unfortunately due to the conditions on the water, the canoe ended up taking on water and overturning as well, putting it's 2 occupants in the cold spring waters.
While Marine 365-2 made the rescue of the 3 stranded boaters, Marine 365-1 arrived with crew of 5 and headed out to assist. With all occupants out of the water, Marine 365-2 brought them to two waiting ambulances at the boat ramp and turned over care to BLS & ALS units. Marine 1 operated for 30 additional minutes retrieving both the canoe and kayak, along with personal items.
Also responding in addition to the 15 SBES members was the ALS unit EMS1 from Hunterdon Medical Center, Clinton Township Police, NJ State Park Police and NJ State Police Marine Unit
Units cleared the scene by 6:00pm.
On Monday 3/15, members of the SBES Rescue Company were invited to collaborate with Clinton and Pattenburg Fire at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center for a Car Fire Drill. SBES provided 2 ambulances and the Heavy Rescue with firefighters to assist in providing medical support, air cascade, lighting, and fire suppression.
Crews worked for almost 3 hours though various scenarios, including two utilizing the Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) from Heavy Rescue 365. Thank you to Clinton FD and Chief Jeff Hedden for the invite, allowing us to further our mutual aid relationship and work together in training
EMS Captain James Race, Operations LT. Ryan Clancy, Rescue LT. Walter Dorf and Fire Fighter Bailey Pyle traveled to Hopatcong NJ on Sunday to complete their Ice Rescue Technician Level certification.
They original took Awareness and Operations level through the Hunterdon County Emergency Services at Round Valley Reservoir. The Technician level course was offered by Rescue Products International out of Denville, NJ. who bring instructors in from all over NJ and as far as Connecticut.
The 8 hour program included single rescuer rescues and multiple rescuer rescues. It also included the use of the rescue FAST board, a small 4 person boat, an inflatable water rescue craft, and a Marssars ice rescue sled.
The day finished up with the 35 plus students participating in the rescue of 5 victims in the water utilizing the equipment and techniques learned throughout the weekend.
Just after 10am, SBES was called to Round Valley for a report of possible victims in the water from by bystanders on the shoreline. 1st arriving units met with those bystanders and found an overturned boat about 500yds out with one to two people stranded on top of it.
SBES Water Rescue Team arrived with Marine 365 and 4 rescuers, who rushed to the aid of the victims. The Rescue Team found two adult males who had been in the water anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and were exhibiting many signs of hypothermia. Crews were able to arrive, pull the victims out, and return in just under one minute, with the total rescue from shoreline to shoreline being just under 5 minutes.
Victims were carried from Marine 365 and transferred to BLS and ALS crews at the shore for treatment and prompt transport to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
The combined efforts and swift actions of the bystanders on shore, the BLS/ALS crews who treated the patients, and the SBES Water Rescue Team, truly made a difference in the outcome of today's rescue.
Earlier this week, SBES Water Rescue members were conducting a cold water / ice rescue training drill in the Town of Clinton, which all of today's rescuers had also participated in.
Photos by: Rich Maxwell
Last Monday, SBES members took the opportunity to practice some skills that we haven't been able to practice over the last couple of years. With this week's frigged temperatures, members could train on various ice rescue tactics at a local pond.
Rescuers trained on "go" operations with the squad's MARSAR Sled. The MARSAR sled is a multi-purpose ice rescue device. The device allows rescuers to remain out of the water and on top of the ice while affecting the rescue. This not only streamlines the rescue but makes the rescue process safer for all involved.
The rescuer's also practiced the use of aerial-based rescues. This is also another scenario that is not often practiced. We want to thank the Clinton Fire Department for assisting us in this drill. Ice conditions for the exercise were perfect.
Often when ice in our area occurs, we have relatively thick ice. The ice for the training was extremely thin, which made all involved work hard to get on top of the ice. At the time, the ice would break too fast for some members to get on top.
We want to remind all community members to never go out on the ice of our local rivers and ponds. Ice thickness can vary even with freezing temperatures. The ice may look thick, but looks can be deceiving.
Thank you to Rich Maxwell for the pictures!
This past week, 5 members of South Branch Emergency Service's Rescue Company completed a 32-hour Structural Collapse Rescue Operations Class.
Members worked on these following skills over the weekend, exterior raker shoring with Paratech rakers flying, solid sole and split sole wooden rakers. Interior three post vertical shore, three post vertical with initial Paratech shoring, two post vertical, laced post shore and the horizontal shore.
This was followed by both door and window shores, T-Spot shores, Double-T shores and spot shores using the Paratech struts.
Last week SBES Rescue Captain Chris Querry and Full-time EMT/Rescue Technician Shannon Guiliani were hard at work training with the states best rescue professionals.
New Jersey FEMA USAR Task Force 1 held an advanced trench rescue shoring course at Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center. HCESTC & NJTF1 were nice enough to allow two slots for SBES members. Due to COVID restrictions students were able to attend the first day in the comfort of their own homes via a virtual lecture. Students then had a choice of two different days for two practical sessions. Over those practical days students completed 4 live trench scenarios.
The first scenario was a trench with several void spaces at different levels of the trench. This required students to back fill, use 6x6 whales, low pressure air bags, and other advanced shoring solutions.
The second scenario simulated a large repair hole in which a rescue would have needed to happen within 6 feet of the end wall of the trench. This requires rescue teams to shore not only the trench but the end walls as well. Various lengths of paratech gold struts were used to complete this evolution.
The third scenario was a “deep trench". Due to trench panels standard height of 8 feet this leaves a difficult situation were rescuers must also shore the remaining 4 feet of soil that the panel leaves. Due to soil conditions crews also had to stabilize multiple different void spaces.
The fourth and final trench was also a simulation of a repair hole. For this scenario crews were told they could not reach the opposing end wall with struts. This required the crews to use a specialized panel carried by Flemington Raritian First Aid and Rescue Squad. The panel is an 8X4 sheet of fin form with two paratech aluminum whales bottled fast to the Sheet. This allows rescuers to make a “raker” with paratech gold struts in the trench to support the end wall of the trench so rescuers can operate safely.
South Branch would like to thank HCESTC and NJ Task Force 1 for the awesome opportunity to train with them. Between soil conditions, weather conditions, and COVID restrictions it made for a challenging week but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
This past week, eight members of our Rescue Company spent over 24 hours at the Hunterdon County Emergency Services Training Center with the outstanding Technical Rescue Instructors, learning more about Trench Rescue. After reviewing regulations and concepts, out to the grounds we went along with the other providers from across the County. The course included four 8" deep straight wall trenches, rapid 6 panel sets, void shoring trench using buttress shore, back shore, air cushions & cribbing, a lifting operation using Paratech inside wales, and a digging operation with supplemental shores.
We'd like to thank the instructional staff for another great program, and congratulate these 7 members for completing additional training to add to their knowledge toolbox.
FOR SALE: 1997 Central States International Rescue
ASKING PRICE: REDUCED TO $49,000
Location: Hunterdon County, NJ
Electrical & Lighting
With only 15,800 miles, this used rescue truck has been very well taken care of over its life. There should be plenty of life left to respond to emergency calls in your own department with this piece of emergency equipment.
The light tower on this vehicle will provide excellent scene lighting on your response. Whether lighting a wreck scene, or making sure your fire fighters have the light needed to prepare for work, this truck can provide that.
In 1982, Lyons Garage incorporated into Central States Fire Apparatus setting the course to become a very successful fire apparatus manufacturer. In less than five years, the company was producing 50 trucks annually. Central States Fire developed a dealer network sales model which, expanded its reach outside of the upper plains. Firetrucks from Lyons were being shipped across the country. Harold and Helen grew the business steadily resisting the temptation to over-expand and over-hire to protecting against the volatile economy of the 1980s. At the core of the Boer's approach to business their commitment to taking care of their customer's needs. The 1990s brought increasing sales growth as they continued to win more business through hard work and standing behind their products. During this period, Harold & Helen formed a relationship with another fire apparatus manufacturer based in Minnesota what was then General Safety Fire Equipment now Rosenbauer Minnesota. Midway through the 90s, thoughts of protecting the business long-term became a focus for the Boer's and similarly for the owners of Rosenbauer Minnesota. In 1994 Rosenbauer International A.G,. and family owned and operated fire apparatus manufacturer based in Leonding, Austria started an effort to seek partnerships with North American fire apparatus manufacturers. Rosenbauer International was becoming one of the world's largest suppliers of fire and emergency response vehicles. The potential partnership would lead to technological exchanges and in a controlled manner building the Rosenbauer brand name in the North American market. The Boer's researched for the best option to solidify the longevity of their South Dakota operations. In 1998, Central States Fire officially joined Rosenbauer International A. G. and General Safety Fire Equipment to form for the first time Rosenbauer America as known today. At the time of the agreement, Central States Fire was active in 32 states, the new partnership brought together the two U.S. based manufacturer's dealers into one group forming a nationwide sales network.
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