Summer is Over - IB Lifeguards Start Winter Training
Nov 11, 2014 12:54PM
By Paul Spear
Personal Watercraft Training
This week lifeguard agencies from around the County are in Imperial Beach for Personal Watercraft (PWC) Operations Training. Imperial Beach Lifeguard Sergeant Jason Lindquist is the lead instructor for the four day 40 hour course. The course is very popular amongst lifeguards and is limited to the first 25 who sign up. The course was held at the Safety Center and north of Palm Avenue.
The course involves lecture and manipulative training for Ocean Lifeguards aspiring to learn about Personal Watercraft ocean rescue. Subject matter ranges from classroom material to hands on skills required to crew and operate a PWC. Lifeguards are required to participate in drills involving surf rescue applications with the PWC. The PWC Operations course is only one of the many courses required for an Associates Degree in Open Water Lifesaving.
River Rescue Training
Over the last year Imperial Beach Lifeguards have been acquiring the specialized equipment and training necessary to establish a River Rescue Team (RRT). This week the final group of three full time Lifeguards are completing their Swiftwater Rescue Technician Unit 1 (SRT1) level training in Coloma California on the South Fork of the American River. The SRT1 course provides rescuers with the fundamentals of survival in moving water and is recommended for anyone who may be called upon to effect in-water river rescues. Students gain knowledge in hydrology and river classifications, size-up, site control and scene management. Practical skills include self-rescue, swiftwater swimming and the fundamentals of shore, boat and in-water rescues.
Additionally students are introduced to the basics of boat handling and the fundamentals of rope rescue including mechanical advantage and anchor systems. River rescues are extremely hazardous incidents that require specialized training and equipment.
Annually all full time Lifeguards train in Oregon with the elite San Diego and Border Patrol RRTs. Due to San Diego County's lack of dry weather rivers, local RRTs must train outside of the County. San Diego RRT is known as one of the best in the Country, and coordinates and instructs the Oregon training.
The Tijuana River is one of the most dangerous rivers in the County. This rainy season the Imperial Beach RRT will be called as the first responding agency for emergency incidents until the San Diego River Rescue Team arrives. During county wide flooding due to heavy rain events, San Diego Lifeguard river rescue resources are not sufficient and must rely on mutual aid when responding to emergency calls. The Imperial Beach RRT along with Border Patrol RRT will be able to provide needed mutual aid and support for the South County.