ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS - Members of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad, the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department and Keyport First Aid braved bone chilling temperatures to train for emergencies on the ice.
The organizations gathered at the Atlantic Highlands municipal harbor for the drill, which took place with temperatures in the teens.
"Today's drill was a success, said Tom Hayden, first lieutenant of the AHFAS.Our rescuers were able to practice in realistic conditions and new members became acquainted with the equipment and procedures.
Each of the organizations is located in areas with active, year-round waterways where there is a high potential of emergencies on the ice.
The Atlantic Highlands harbor, for instance, is home to the Sea Streak Ferry, which shuttles thousands of passengers to and from New York City each week, year-round.
Members of the participating agencies first met at the Atlantic Highlands Emergency Services Building to go through training on the required equipment. Then, they shifted to the harbor, which, given several days of sub-freezing temperatures left the harbor with a crust of slushy ice around the piers.
EMTs and first responders from the organizations wore specially designed suits to work in the water. Each one alternated from playing rescuers and victims to simulate the types of emergencies the organizations might face during the winter months.
Each of the organizations involved are made up entirely of volunteers who dedicate their time to training like the ice rescue day and responding to emergency calls. For information about the Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad log onto www.ahfirstaid.org, for the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department log onto, http://188.8.131.52/ahnj/Departments/Fire/and for Keyport log onto www.keyportfirstaid.org.