I had two goals for this initial drill. One, to educate Rescue Personnel on how to keep themselves and their equipment safe during a response to an emergency and secondly to promote a discussion between kiteboarders and rescue personnel.
The Kiteboarders included Bill Lynch, Mike Zadeh, Nevin Sayre and myself while the Edgartown Personnel numbered well above 20 including
Fire Chief Peter Shemeth, Assistant Chief Alex Schaeffer as well as Police Chief Tony Bettencourt and Sergeant Craig Edwards as well as other members of the Police Department. Overall it was great to see such a large turnout from the town and it spoke volumes to the dedication of our Fire and Police Departments.
The entire group assembled on South Beach on a foggy sunday morning and after some brief introductions we split into small groups to rig the Kiteboarding gear and allow all Rescue Personnel to handle the equipment and see how it all went together. Once the gear was rigged and everyone had checked out Nevin Sayre launched his kite and demonstrated the power abilities of the kite as well as handling. We were able to easily demonstrate the danger zones for the Rescue Teams and to impress upon them the importance of alway approaching the kite and kiter from upwind so as to stay well clear of any lines in the event of a rapid relaunch.
Nevin Sayre from BIC North America
After nearly an hour and a half we packed up our gear walked back to the vehicles. The conversation quickly turned to the what the different scenarios might be, what directions brought us to which locations and why. The Police and Fire Departments couldn't have been more enthusiastic and supportive of what we were doing and how they could play a role in keeping us safe. The town has recently purchased a new Rescue Vessel http://www.mvtimes.com/2012/12/05/edgartown-philanthropist-rescue-new-boat-13593/ and in speaking with them they like myself are eager to evaluate our current safety protocols and work together to create a new standard.
I am extremely thankful to all Edgartown Fire and Police for coming out and I look forward to our next collaboration.
Nevin and I demonstrate the Chicken Loop Quick Release