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Middletown’s South Fire District Practice Specialized Rescue Training

Submitted by Editorial Staff

(May 30, 2023) — Middletown South Fire District (SFD) had a problem and little time to solve it. They had training scheduled for their firefighters but the location became unavailable. SFD needed a place to hold the specialized high angle rescue training. They reached out to Haddam for help.

“They asked if they could use the Higganum Cove. It offers a realistic environment for rescue training,” said Town of Haddam First Selectman and Haddam Neck volunteer firefighter Bob McGarry. “It has various features and challenges that simulate real-life scenarios, allowing firefighters to practice their skills, techniques, and strategies in a natural environment.”

South Fire District frequently provides mutual aid to Haddam Volunteer Fire Company. Following the training course, their firefighters will be qualified rope technicians.

McGarry noted that the Higganum Cove is becoming a popular destination for the public to walk, observe wildlife, fish, and access both the Connecticut River and Higganum Creek. He credits the volunteers from the Higganum Cove Committee who have been working diligently to make the former mill site a local attraction.

But, with more people comes the likelihood of more emergencies.

“There’s a lot of uneven, rugged terrain in the Cove, so the possibility of people injuring themselves is certainly a concern; it has happened before,” McGarry said.

Middletown South Fire District Captain of Training and Safety AB Turenne said Higganum Cove was an ideal site for the rope technician training. He also took caution to minimize any potential negative impact on the environment and wildlife. No motorized vehicles were used in the training.

“We’re grateful that the Town of Haddam allowed us to practice at the Cove, as it provided us with a wooded and rural landscape to develop our rescue skills,” Capt. Turenne said. “We are increasing the human capital knowledge of our officers and firefighters to provide a more diverse service to our mutual aid partners such has Haddam.”

Photos courtesy of Middletown South Fire District

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