Local Firefighters Complete New Lifesaving Training
Newaygo Fire Department forms Dive Rescue Team
NEWAYGO– In 2016, members of the Newaygo Fire Department started laying the groundwork to expand their technical rescue level to the community by establishing a Dive Rescue Team. On June 7, 2017, that vision became a reality as the team went into operation after nine months of intensive training.
“We had been discussing this for several years,” said Jason Cunningham, deputy chief of Newaygo Fire Department. “After the tragic drowning on June 25, 2016, on the Muskegon river, we decided that it was time to put our efforts into making this happen.”
The dive rescue team is comprised of nine emergency response diving (ERD) level 2—technician public safety divers, and three ERD Level 2—technician tenders. Combined, the team has logged almost 2,000 hours of cumulative training during the last nine months.
“I am very proud of each and every person on this team,” says Cunningham. “These members have given up numerous weekends, holidays and time with family in order to make this a reality, and provide our communities another potentially life saving service.
In Brooks Township alone, Newaygo Fire Department covers around 1,500 acres of water. It also covers approximately 14 miles of river that runs through Brooks Township, City of Newaygo and Garfield Township. During the summer months, the population in the City of Newaygo and surrounding areas more than doubles with fishermen, tubers and kayakers.
Newaygo Fire Department looks forward to working for our community and with our mutual aid partners, Newaygo Police Department, Newaygo County Sheriff's Department and anyone else who may need our help.