For rescue, a high quality surface rescue suit should be worn. The
ideal suit will be for "surface rescue only" and will provide buoyancy
without the need of a life jacket. It is essential that each suit
is a built in non-locking carabineer, which insures the rescuer is
tethered to a tender who is on shore or in a safety boat. A thermal
liner or "underwear" should be a component of the suit. This liner
should be removable for laundering purposes. Other key features of
the suit include reflective materials for night operations; built
in ice awls for maneuvering on ice and a knife with a protecting sheath
in the case of cutting a line is necessary. A scuba dry or wet suit,
in lieu of a surface rescue suit, can be worn but keep in mind that
a life jacket is essential equipment with these suits as well as a
wearable harness for tethering a rescuer.
Should be considered essential and is often overlooked, however performing
a rescue in a blinding snow storm with sub zero wind chills can hamper
visibility and make the rescuer uncomfortable. A scuba mask or a close
fitting pair of goggles both work well.
Chances are not everyone involved in the rescue will have a surface
rescue suit on, however they can be involved in the rescue at a moments
notice, any time working near water be sure to have a proper fitting,
United States Cast Guard Approved life jacket on. Be sure that your
life jackets are appropriate for the exact type of environment in
which you will be operating.
Every rescuer has to mentally prepare for what they may be called
upon to do. There is often great risk and extreme stress that can
go hand in hand with extracting someone from harms way. A good practice
for being mentally prepared is to train as if it were a real rescue,
visualize the rescue, keep up on latest the training techniques and
finally and be honest with yourself and ask, can I do this? Am I ready?
Engage in a physical training program that includes: weight and cardiovascular
exercises. Focus should be made on cardiovascular training; this will
help with the stress and physical exertion that is put upon the rescuer.