Local firefighters hit the water for rescue training

WWSB ABC7 News at 4pm
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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COQUINA BEACH, Fla. (WWSB) - On a normal day, firefighters do their work on land, but on Tuesday things were different for members of the Longboat Key Fire Department.

Firefighters teamed up with Manatee County Beach Patrol for their annual water rescue training. The beach patrol is used to being in the ocean, but for some firefighters the day had its challenges.

“I’m 56 years old and even though I do cardio five days a week, swimming in the surf takes a different type of cardiovascular fitness than it does performing tasks on land,” said Longboat Key Fire Rescue Captain John Elwood.

Firefighters and the beach patrol worked together to practice real-life rescue situations, using boards and flotation devices. Both crews say they learned a lot from each other, after all, they share one thing in common.

“We’re all here for the same thing,” said Manatee County Beach Patrol Lieutenant David Snyder. “To try and save lives.”

The training will continue over three days for a total of 34 firefighter participants.