Barryton Community Fire Department purchases boat, equipment for open water rescues

NEW BOAT: A new boat, motor and trailer will allow the Barryton Community Fire Department to conduct open water rescues. Central Michigan Hunters Unlimited and the Barryton Area Lions Club were the two main donors for the open water rescue equipment purchase. (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

NEW BOAT: A new boat, motor and trailer will allow the Barryton Community Fire Department to conduct open water rescues. Central Michigan Hunters Unlimited and the Barryton Area Lions Club were the two main donors for the open water rescue equipment purchase. (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove-Davis)

BARRYTON — The Barryton Community Fire Department continues to expand its water rescue capabilities, thanks to equipment purchased with the help of local donations.

This past winter, the department purchased equipment for ice rescues. Now, new equipment — a boat, motor and trailer — will allow the department to conduct open water rescues, explained Barryton Community Fire Department Chief Terry Vogel.

“With all the lakes in this corner of Mecosta County, our department felt it was necessary to have a water rescue program, which we continue to build on,” Vogel said. “We will still work in cooperation with the county dive team and other rescue teams, but this is just another asset for the area.”

Because of the mutual aid agreement between Mecosta County and surrounding counties, other nearby departments can call on Barryton Community Fire Department for assistance with an open water rescue.

“It will be available to those around us whenever it is needed,” Vogel said.

Central Michigan Hunters Unlimited and the Barryton Area Lions Club were the two main donors for the open water rescue equipment purchase.

“We donated because we were thinking about our local duck hunters and fishermen. This is something that could be used to help them if they were ever in trouble,” said Brian David, a representative for Central Michigan Hunters Unlimited.

The total cost for the open water rescue equipment was about $4,600 and the previously purchased gear for ice rescue, such as life jackets, are able to be utilized for open water rescue.

Fork Township Supervisor John Singer is happy to see the addition to the department.

“This department has come a long ways and has been getting a lot of necessary equipment to improve,” Singer said. “I know it’s going to work out well for this community.”

Firefighters in the department all have received in-house training for open water rescue and all have working knowledge to operate the equipment, Vogel said. The department also is looking to have some outside training done, like was done for ice rescues.

The aim is also to get equipment and training to be able to perform swift water rescues, which involves fast moving bodies of water such as rivers, Vogel said.

“We are close to being able to fund that,” he said. “Once we get set up for that, our water rescue program will be complete.”

 

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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