Matawan emergency services personnel participate in ice rescue training

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MATAWAN – Members of the Matawan Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently participated in ice rescue training to keep their skills up to date.

More specifically, members of the Matawan Police Department’s Advanced Services Unit (ASU), the Matawan Fire Department’s Training Division and the OEM all participated in the training exercise.

“The ASU trains annually on ice and water rescues (at) the two large lakes in our jurisdiction, Lake Lefferts and Lake Matawan, in addition to the Matawan Creek,” Police Chief Thomas Falco said.

Falco said the ice rescue training consisted of a virtual lecture on Feb. 8 and a practical exercise on Feb. 13.

“Six members of the (police department) attended this year’s training as we will be phasing new officers into the unit after other members were recently promoted to supervisory positions and will no longer serve as ASU members, however, they will continue to maintain their current certifications,” Falco said.

Falco said Sgt. Brian Murphy, Sgt. Paul Ryba, Patrolman Jonathan Borsari, Patrolman Jamil Brooks, Patrolman Cory Nusbaum and Patrolman Mason Sheehan participated in the training.

Fire Chief Freddy Benjamin said that in total, 21 individuals participated in the training.

Benjamin said the fire department’s Training Division consists of former fire chief and OEM Deputy Coordinator Rich Michitsch, Lt. Jessica Michitsch and former fire chief Edward Lee, who instructs the ice rescue training.

Benjamin said it is not always possible to conduct ice rescue training because local lakes may not freeze. He said the fire department invites the police department to participate, as well as emergency responders from other communities.