Providing fire and rescue service to a large area in northern Aroostook County that includes five large lakes and other bodies of water, members of North Lakes Fire and Rescue recognized that the ability to provide ice water rescue to citizens and visitors throughout its coverage area was a critical need for the department.

North Lakes Fire and Rescue

Prior to today, an incident involving an individual or animal falling through ice would require a response from the Maine Warden Service, or neighboring St. Agatha or Caribou Fire Departments.  Minutes could make a drastic difference in this type of dangerous scenario.

“Without the incredible help of grant programs such as the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation which provided the necessary equipment, and the Maine Municipal Association which assisted in sending Firefighter Romann to become certified Ice Rescue Instructor, the department would not have been able to realize this goal,” said Deputy Chief Jesse Belanger.

Training was conducted by North Lakes Firefighter Steve Romann, a recent graduate of the Ice Water Rescue Train-the-Trainer Academy through Lifesaving Resources, LLC of Kennebunkport, ME.  Over the course of two weekends, 19 of the department’s paid-per-call firefighters trained on the ice of Long Lake in Sinclair, with a full 15 donning suits and achieving the “Technician” certification.

North Lakes Fire and Rescue has two complete sets of ice water rescue response equipment, in position at the department’s Madawaska Lake station and Sinclair station, respectively.

The North Lakes Fire & Rescue provides fire protection and rescue services to the communities of Sinclair, Cross Lake Township, Madawaska Lake Township, Westmanland, and the Square Lake Region.  More information can be found at the department’s website at  www.northlakesfire.org.