Saranac Lake Fire Department

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SLVFD hosts joint training with wide range of agencies in "Public Safety Diving"
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By SLVFD News Room
March 12, 2023

The name of our little town, Saranac “Lake” is quite fitting. Our response area, the Adirondacks in general as well as the area’s bordering the Saint Lawrence Seaway and Lake Champlain are filled with lakes, ponds, and rivers which bring a host of people living, working, and recreating on those waterways. Every year we are called on to respond to water and ice Rescues. In the year 2022 the SLVFD responded to 6 such emergencies. These emergencies range from boating and swimming accidents to vehicles and people falling through the ice. Unfortunately these emergencies all too often have tragic endings.

Public Safety Diving was the topic of our training. When you think of scuba diving you may have an image in your mind of clear water, beautiful coral reefs, and exploring ancient ship wrecks. Public Safety Diving is quite different, in this area the water is always cold, it is sometimes covered with ice, visibility is usually limited. Public Safety dives happen at inconvenient times of day or night and are usually emergent situations putting the divers, dive tenders, and support crew under extreme stress. Training for these events is critical.

A wide array of agencies attended the training. It was a great way for us to share knowledge, learn from each other, and learn how to support each other when these unfortunate incidents occur. Some of the agencies have actual dive teams as does the SLVFD, some agencies do not, but they all have significant water exposure and need to know how to support the incoming teams. It was really interesting to have some of the Saint Lawrence teams attend to hear perspective of their experiences on a major shipping channel as opposed to our numerous lakes and rivers. In attendance also was NYSP divers who respond all over the state.

Training was held on March 9th at the Saranac Lake Fire House. Agencies present in addition to the SLVFD and the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue squad, were the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department, Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department, Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department, The Duane Volunteer Fire Department, Malone Callfiremen, Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department, Massena Volunteer Fire Department, Parishville Volunteer Fire Department, Brushton Volunteer Fire Department, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and members of the New York State Police Dive Team.

Your SLVFD as well as all area first responders are working very hard to be ready when these incidents occur.

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Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department
100 Broadway
PO Box 509
Saranac Lake NY 12983

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Non-Emergency: 518-891-2333
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