I was stunned when I read there were no emergency personnel trained in water rescue in the Yukon in either the RCMP or fire department.
Just this week, I finished recertification as a swift water rescue tech. Here in Skagway, I’m a member of the volunteer fire department. We also handle search and rescue and EMS. Many of our members are certified in firefighting, water and other rescues, as well as EMS (EMTs, ETTs, etc.). This is in addition to having regular jobs to earn a living.
It’s shocking that some of your full-time paid professionals aren’t better trained, especially considering how 30 per cent of drowning deaths are of would-be rescuers.
In a few days, with little expense and equipment, you could easily have some of your Mounties and firefighters and maybe ambulance attendants trained to respond to water emergencies. This not only may save lives, but will make rescues quicker and easier.
It’s amazing that we have a better-trained emergency force of volunteers here in Skagway than the professionals in the Yukon. If I lived there, I’d be lobbying to change that. Don’t wait for an unnecessary death.