ARFFWG Water Rescue Workshop

It has been awhile since I posted, but I traveled a lot between April and now – including FDIC, Faculty Senate, and the ARFF Working Group (ARFFWG) Water Rescue workshop. For this post I want to focus on the Water Rescue workshop and I will write about something interesting I learned about at FDIC at a later date.

Let me start by saying this was my second workshop that I attended hosted by the ARFFWG.  The first one was last May at the Boeing facility – I wrote a blog about my experience for Embry-Riddle Aeroanutical University’s website and an article for the ARFF News, which can be read here.  As the Boeing workshop was exceptional due to the access to the Boeing facilities, aircraft, and employees ranging from fire fighters to engineers, the Water Rescue workshop maintained this level of professional learning and accessibility.

Held in Boston, Massachusetts, the Massport Fire Rescue were fantastic hosts.  The lecture portion of the workshop was two days and had speakers that ranged from airports and fire and emergency services personnel from various countries, the United States Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, Massachusetts State Police, JetBlue Airways, Boston EMS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, of course, Massport Fire Rescue.  Both days were extremely informative and certainly lent to the advancement of the knowledge level with how other organization’s hand different items and their best practices when dealing with water rescue situations.

In addition to lectures, Massport Fire Rescue had a static display of various rescue boats available to all attendees.  Additionally, we were honored to have bagpipes greet us as we arrived and toured the boats. This was certainly a treat for all of us.


The final half day was dedicated to Massport’s full scale water rescue drill, Operation Ready, that was staged just outside of the harbor. Victims were located on a floating barge and while Massport responded, so did Federal, State, and local mutual aid: United States Coast Guard, Massachusetts State Police, Boston Fire, Cambridge Fire, Quincy Fire, Winthrop Fire, Beverly Fire, Environmental Police.

This sort of environment where professionals from across the globe come together to discuss and assist each other is something that the ARFFWG always does so well.  They coordinated learning with lectures and real-time drills and had sprinklings of networking opportunities with after hour events that showcased the city of Boston so very well.

I always find that I walk away from these workshops with a greater knowledge of the subject matter and I am an outsider looking in. I can only imagine the plethora of information a practitioner gains from such access to counterparts, equipment, and knowledge. Plus, it was in Boston!!!! And I believe that I mentioned Massport Fire Rescue hosted, right? I mean, honestly, how could you go wrong?



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