Longboat Key Fire Rescue spent three days last week training for a new water safety program that Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi is implementing in the coming weeks.
Dezzi has spent the last two years working to receive approximately $30,000 in grant dollars to pay for a new water rescue all-terrain vehicle and a Jet ski to assist with water rescue operations on both Sarasota Bay and Gulf waters.
Last week, firefighter paramedics received training from Sarasota County lifeguards to learn water assessment review and to learn how to launch the new Jet ski from the beach. Firefighters are also learning how to operate the Jet ski with patients onboard.
Dezzi said the commitment was made to purchase the vehicles and have enhanced water safety measures after the Key had some drownings off the Key’s shoreline the past couple of years.
While firefighters won’t be patrolling the beach on a regular basis, Dezzi said the department will have regular patrols on busy holiday weekends and when he has an extra person on duty for beach patrol purposes.
For more information, pick up a copy of Thursday's Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].