Shore-based water rescue help?
Due to recent events during the past month or so, where we've had a LOT of rain in our area, we have been exposed to the very real problem of water rescue. Being as the majority if our district is on top of a watershed, we've never really had to deal with this. However, that's changing it seems. I don't know if people are getting dumber or what.
Anyway, in the past we've relied on a nearby department that has a limited amount of training and equipment to mutual aid when we have a water incident (which is rare). However, the call volume over the last 24 hours put us in a position where we had to improvise. Thankfully, it was a slow-water incident and the water wasn't that deep. It was cold, and a five-month old were involved, so we did what we could as safely as we could with what we had.
As a result, my board has requested I bring some pricing on equipment so that we can do this safer. Anyone have any tips on what to look at for shore-based rescue? Right now I'm looking at PFD's, helmets, and gloves for protection, then throw-bags and maybe a cinch collar or something for rescue or at least having a line on someone in case things digress. I'm figuring if we can at least get tag lines on them, we can wait for the hour or more it might take for the nearest swift-water team to arrive. That's assuming they can get there due to flooding elsewhere.
Getting a swift-water team trained and equipped isn't an option at the moment. There is only one or two classes per year in the state, and they're four hours away. Plus, getting guys the prereq classes is going to be a task. However, it's something I'm going to try to work toward for the county.
Any opinions out there on this?