Parsippany Rescue and Recovery holds dive and Ice rescue drill on Lake Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — It looked like a real disaster on Lake Shore Drive in Lake Parsippany this past Sunday morning, but it was just the Parsippany Rescue and Recovery on the scene with their dive team practicing ice dives and ice rescue techniques in case of a real emergency.  Lake Shore Drive was blocked off with yellow caution tape to traffic in the area of Drewes Beach where police cars, Rockaway Neck First Aid Squad, Parsippany Volunteer Ambulance, Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Department District 3 and Rescue and Recovery vehicles were stationed and practicing their ice diving and ice rescue skills.

Lake Parsippany was solid ice and the volunteers first step upon arrival was to cut a triangular hole in the ice using a special chainsaw. The volunteers from both ambulance squads participated in setting up and staffing the staging area where divers checked their uniform to make sure everything is properly sealed, put on and tested the rest of the equipment such as the air bottles and head masks.

The volunteers cut a hole in the ice on Lake Parsippany getting ready to practice dive drill in case of an emergency
The volunteers cut a hole in the ice on Lake Parsippany getting ready to practice dive drill in case of an emergency

If it was a real emergency, the volunteers can start getting into their gear inside the truck, which is equipped with all the uniforms and the necessary items. The truck is also fully ventilated to prevent any mold from forming inside, including all cabinets.

The first diver, Luis Alvarado entering the water. The water temperature is about 32 degrees, a little above freezing.

The two tenders are in place at all times and guide the ropes. The ropes are the way divers communicate when they are under water. For example if a diver had an emergency they would quickly yank the rope four times to communicate a problem. The water temperature was about 32 degrees which is just above freezing temperature. A diver never begins until their is a 100% diver who is ready to go at all times in case of any emergency. Divers also waited until the 80% diver was all suited up before going in.  Each diver submerges for about 15 minutes and then the next diver goes in.

The diver is down below the ice in the water. The two tenders hold the ropes connected to the diver

Without a doubt the Rescue and Recovery unit along with other dedicated volunteers, face numerous challenges. Members of the rescue unit face a wide variety of emergencies both on land and water which can be a daunting task. The squads are armed with some of the best equipment available and training designed to keep the members sharp and prepared in any emergency. Parsippany Rescue and Recovery is ready for anything. They keep their tools fueled and primed, ready to go at a moments notice to any part of town and even many mutual aid calls.

As well as serving the Parsippany community, Parsipany Rescue and Recovery is involved at the county level and beyond that when they are called to emergencies.

Parsippany Rescue and Recovery volunteer Luis Alvarado was the first diver in the water.
Luis Alvarado coming up after fifteen minutes in the water. Once on ground, he will go to the PATRIOTS trailer and they will immediately check his vitals
Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Chief Paul Philipps getting his gear set up to enter the lake
Dive Coordinator Glen Foli and Andrew Ludwig preparing Police Chief Paul Philipps for Sunday mornings drill on Lake Parsippany
Diver James Clark getting in position
Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ben Berkman with Rescue and Recovery Chief John Tranculov discussing the Dive and Ice Rescue Drill at Lake Parsippany Drewe’s Beach
The tenders making sure the diver is safe
Rescue and Recovery Chief John Tranculov and Captain Louis Yuliano prepare for the drill
Rescue and Recovery Chief John Tranculov and Captain Louis Yuliano prepare for the dive and Ice rescue drill on Lake Parsippany
The drawing showing where the divers and tenders are lined up for the diving drill on Lake Parsippany
Captain Louis Yuliano on top of the Rescue and Recovery truck handing the rescue board to another volunteer
Volunteer Jack Gianetti is holding a training session and demonstrating to other volunteers the equipment and supplies on the truck

If you would like to volunteer on Parsippany Rescue and Recovery click here for an application.

Becoming a member of the Rescue & Recovery requires a similar level of training and commitment found in firefighter certification. Rescue members often take some of the same classes at the fire academy that firefighters take, excluding courses specifically related to fighting fires. From there, rescue unit members enroll in classes specific to their roll in the emergency services. Throughout the year, members also participate in drill and training sessions together. A township-wide drill is organized annually in which all emergency responders participate. In total, the 35 active members of the rescue unit take part in about 100 hours of regular training annually.  Parsippany Rescue and Recovery is in need volunteers of volunteers, especially in the Lake Parsippany area.  

Parsippany Rescue and Recovery also needs donations from residents and businesses. It is expensive to train the members and maintain the equipment. You can send your donations to Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, Post Office Box 45, Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey 07034.