DULUTH, MN– Our local fire and police departments have a new life-saving tool at their disposal.
It’s a piece of equipment that can help with water and ice rescues, made possible by donations from 4 area Rotary Clubs.
Each year, rescue officials in the Twin Ports respond to a handful of water emergencies.
Finding the most safe and efficient way for first responders to perform a water rescue is not a easy.
Thursday, local first responders were presented with a $16,000 donation of 40 ARM-LOC devices.
A Duluth company called Water Rescue Innovations created the ARM-LOC.
“It’s very useful for a lot of things. We can start a rescue from shore, we can attach it to a patient and use it as a flotation device.” Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said.
Water Rescue Innovations is providing free annual training and supplies to departments that receive and ARM-LOC.
“It looks kind of like a big arm floatie that you see for kids. You slide it on and it’s not inflated, it has a Co2 cartridge in there, we just pull a rip-cord and it automatically inflates… it literally locks onto your arm and it’s impossible to get off.” Chief Krizaj explains.
The Duluth Fire Department says the ARM-LOC makes the rescue process safer for everyone involved.
“We’ve had examples where police have had to do rescues in the river., and they’ve actually had to enter the river with all of their equipment on. This gives them the opportunity to have a throw device, get it out to the patient sooner.” Chief Krizaj said.
The Rotary Clubs wanted to make this happen because in the Northland, there is water everywhere… and there will be plenty of people needing rescue.
“We have many lakes around us, and we love the people in the community and want to keep them safe,” said Marisa Conley with Duluth Skyline Rotary.
Duluth Skyline Rotary, Duluth Rotary Club 25, Harbortown Rotary, and Superior Rotary Club 40 were all a part of this partnership. The donated ARM-LOCs are going to the Duluth Police and Fire Departments, Superior Police Department, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.