Seattle Fire Department enhances water rescue capabilities with new SeaDoos

July 5, 2024

Seattle Fire Department implements new SeaDoos for water rescues

The Seattle Fire Department is piloting a new program to improve response times to water rescues.

As reported by the Seattle Fire Department, starting July 1, the department has integrated two customized SeaDoos into its marine response capabilities.

These additions are expected to enhance the department’s ability to respond more swiftly and cover a larger area for freshwater emergencies.

Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins of the Seattle Fire Department stated: “Seattle has nearly 200 miles of shoreline, with recreational and maritime activities that draw people to the water year-round.

“While we have rescue boats on salt and fresh water, and our citywide rescue swimmer program, placing these units at Leschi casts a wider net of coverage for this part of the city that we have not had before.”

Rescue watercraft donated by Seattle Fire Foundation

The Seattle Fire Foundation has donated the new rescue watercraft, which will be used to rescue people in water and assist vessels in distress.

These watercraft will be part of the department’s strategy to respond to freshwater incidents, alongside the highly trained rescue swimmer program.

Rescue swimmers, who are currently limited to responses no further than 300 feet from shore, will be able to safely and quickly respond beyond that distance with the aid of the watercraft.

The rescue watercraft also features a back platform, which allows the operator and rescue swimmers to transport patients to shore for further medical care.

Equipment to enhance emergency response times

Steve Elsoe, the Seattle Fire Foundation board chair, highlighted the importance of the new equipment: “These jet skis are essential pieces of equipment to help firefighters respond as quickly as possible to water-related emergencies where timing is critical.

“Our foundation’s mission is to help provide essential tools like this to help improve our firefighter’s ability to better protect us all.

“We are very grateful to those who donate to our foundation and for helping us make this happen.”

Previous donations by the Seattle Fire Foundation

This donation marks the third major contribution by the Seattle Fire Foundation this year.

In January 2024, the foundation provided thermal imaging cameras for two tailboard firefighters on all 32 engines.

Additionally, the foundation collaborated with Amazon and the Gary Sinise Foundation to equip every firefighter in operations with technical extrication gloves.

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