“What I was worried about was them going into hypothermia,” he says. “The water was still really cold.”
That’s when Hahn busted out the department’s newest rescue tool: the ResQmax.
It looks like something out of a video game – a shoulder-mounted launcher that uses air-thrust technology to propel a self-inflating life jacket-type device attached to a rope up to 300 feet out into the water.
A report from the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says drownings in Lake Michigan are up as much as 50 percent from last summer.
Now the ResQmax is changing the way on-land crews can help in a water emergency.
Chickaming Township believes they’re the first town in Berrien County to get the launchers.
They have four of them – two for police, two for the fire department.