Chikaming Township police officer uses water rescue device to sa - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Chikaming Township police officer uses water rescue device to save stranded swimmers

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Chikaming Township Police Officer Rob Hahn holds the ResQmax Chikaming Township Police Officer Rob Hahn holds the ResQmax
Tragedy could have struck this weekend in Lake Charter Township, Michigan when two people became stranded in Lake Michigan. The people were swimming at the Warren Dunes State Park when officers say they became too tired to make it back to shore. That's when the ResQmax was used to make the rescue.

ResQmax is a device that launches a projectile into the water. Once the projectile hits the water, a tube inflates allowing a person to grab on and be pulled in by rescuers. That's exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon when Chikaming Police Officer Rob Hahn used the department's ResQmax.

"This thing is a great tool. It helps save lives quicker," Hahn said.

Hahn along with a number of rescue workers from nearby towns and people at the beach were able to pull in the two stranded people. "Certainly makes our job easier. We don't have to stand on the beach helpless. We can actually do something to save lives," Hahn said.

The two individuals rescued were a man and woman. They declined medical attention and left before Hahn could speak with them. Hahn's shot landed the tube just six feet away from the stranded swimmers. "It was, I'd say a lucky shot. It landed, inflated the tube and she got leg around it. It worked first try," Hahn said.

The Chikaming Police and Fire Department have four ResQmax devices; two with each department. They got the devices in April and trained all of the police officers and fire fighters on how to use it. Sunday's rescue was the first time the device was used.

"I was very proud of my officer,” Chikaming Township Police Chief Todd Taylor said. “He went down there, knew how to use it, shot it out there and was able to save two lives."

Chief Taylor was happy about the device working successfully, but says this isn't an invitation to make poor decisions on the water. He says it is that much more important at Warren Dunes because there are no life guards stationed. There is a flag system used to warn people of the swimming conditions. A green flag means it is safe to swim, a yellow flag means conditions could be dangerous and to swim at your own caution, and red which means you should not swim. Still, Taylor says it's great to know the device is available when needed.

We're happy to have the equipment. It's a great tool to have. It gives us another tool to help us save some additional lives," Taylor said.

The Chikaming Township Police Department purchased the ResQmax with money from the Pokagon Fund. Each device costs around 2,100 dollars.

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