The West Lake Fire Department’s response district contains Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay, which are located in the northern part of our district. Since the formation of the department, members have had basic training in water rescue and dive team operations. The department operated a dive (SCUBA) team for several years, disbanding the team in late 2013. The department now focuses on Open Water Rescue, Swift Water Rescue and Ice Rescue utilizing 2 boats and 2 jet skis.
In the summer of 2012, West Lake responded to three incidents for drownings and possible drownings in Lake Erie off of Kelso Beach and the Peninsula. The two calls off of the Peninsula claimed the lives of two individuals and the call off of Kelso Beach resulted in the successful rescue of three males utilizing a jet ski operated by members from a resident. After that week, the department decided to revamp the water rescue division and focus on specific training, gear and apparatus. The result is an organized water rescue team comprised of West Lake, West Ridge, Lake Shore and Belle Valley Fire Departments all training and responding as one team. Other mutual aid departments for any water rescues are The United States Coast Guard, Erie Fire Department (SCUBA team), Presque Isle Life Guards, Lake City Fire Department.
Water Rescue: This team includes open water, swift water and ice rescue. Currently, the team consists of 27 members trained in open water, swift water and ice rescue. The other members of the department who respond have a very important role in shore support.