Cape Gazette
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Lewes firemen trained in helicopter water rescue

By Nick Roth | Mar 19, 2013
Photo by: Nick Roth The Delaware State Police helicopter pulls a member of the Lewes Fire Department out of a small pond near Nassau Valley Vineyards March 14 during a training exercise.

The Delaware State Police helicopter flew low over Nassau Valley Vineyards March 14, assisting Lewes Fire Department officials in a water-rescue training exercise.

The Delaware Fire School Helicopter Rescue Awareness Class teaches local firemen how to be part of the rescue crew in the back of the DSP helicopter, said Robert McMahon, a training pilot with DSP. He said it is the goal of the Delaware Air Rescue team to train all fire departments in the state in helicopter rescue methods. Hundreds of Delaware firefighters have already received the training, he said.

The exercise called for emergency personnel to use a basket attached to a line from the chopper to carry several people in distress to safety from a small pond behind Station 2 near the Nassau Bridge.

McMahon said this type of rescue technique was recently used when a woman was stuck in the marsh near Rehoboth Beach. It would've been difficult to send rescue crews in the marsh, he said, so they used the helicopter and basket to pull her to safety.

The Delaware State Police helicopter hovers over a pond behind Lewes Fire Department Station 2 as a person is loaded into a basket to be carried safely to land during a training exercise March 14. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
The DSP helicopter gets the thumbs up, signaling the distressed person is safely secured in the rescue basket. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
George Bixby directs the helicopter where to set down Tim McClanahan in the basket as Bob McMahon, left, and Eric Swanson look on. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
A member of the Lewes Fire Department is pulled out of a small pond near Nassau Valley Vineyards March 14 during a training exercise. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
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