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Coast Guard and fire crews come together for ice rescue training

Coast Guard and fire crews come together for ice rescue training

Three different Coast Guard crews and the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department came together Thursday to sharpen their skills with ice rescue training.

The teams went over life and hoist operations in and above Arbutus Lake in Grand Traverse County.

Crews below used equipment to practice rescuing victims from the ice, while rescue swimmers above practiced lifting victims out of the water and getting them safely into helicopters.

"We don't often get an opportunity where we get to work with the Coast Guard and I'm a firm believer that we need to work with all of our partners in public safety, coast guard, law enforcement, other entities that we don't normally get a chance to work with," said Asst. Fire Chief Steve Apostal. "It helps to build relationships and understand how they may do business and how we might be able to improve our method of doing business."

This is the first time the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department has had the opportunity to do ice rescue training with crews from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City.

Chief Pat Parker says he hopes to make it an annual exercise.

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