River rescue training held on Millers River

Training benefits both new and veteran firefighters

TURNERS FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – With the warmer weather, more people will be out boating and paddling in area rivers and lakes, and with that comes a risk of emergencies on the water. With that in mind, about a dozen firefighters were out on the Millers River in Turners Falls Thursday for training.

This was part of a four-day water rescue program for firefighter trainees across the state. 12 firefighters-in-training, along with 7 instructors, learned how to effectively perform water rescues when the water current is fast. They also were trained to use dry suits, personal flotation devices, ropes, and buoys.

“The rivers get moving very quickly,” lead instructor Tom Rinoldo told 22News. “If you get a civilian or firefighter doing a rescue and they fall in, they’ll get swept in very quickly. So having the right skills, the training, is very important.” Rinoldo said that firefighters practiced boat operations and shore-based rescues on the Connecticut River Tuesday and Wednesday.

These water rescue classes are held four time a year: two times in spring and two in the fall.