“ResQmax” Launcher Assists In Lake Michigan Water Rescues

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ResQmaxBERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (June 25, 2014) — Officer Rob Hahn of the Chickaming Township Police Department was the first to respond to a call of two swimmers in trouble on Lake Michigan last week.

“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.

“It makes a huge difference,” Hahn says. “It allows us to respond quicker and actually be able to do something on the beach instead of just standing there – feeling helpless.”launcher3

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.

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1 Comment

  • Julie Rambow

    Every town should have one if they have lakes or rivers around. It is the responsible thing to do! By the time you get a boat there and into he water…you are wasting precious time! My son almost drown in a lake incident and he said while the boat got there fast, he was already very exhausted and started to slip under. He got water in his lungs and a touch of infection from it. (Why antibiotics are important if you swallow too much)! This ResQmax would have prevented him from going under! I'm going to make sure we have one in our town!

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