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South Summit Water Rescue Team holds mass casualty training drill at Portage Lakes State Park

South Summit Water Rescue Team holds mass casualty training drill at Portage Lakes State Park
South Summit Water Rescue Team holds mass casualty training drill at Portage Lakes State Park(WOIO)
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:49 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Tragedy can strike at any time, no one knows that better than first responders.

“By us being able to respond better to an emergency, it just makes the whole area safer for everybody,” Don Burroughs of the New Franklin Fire Department said.

On Thursday, Burroughs’ team joined forces with emergency crews from more than 10 cities in Summit County for a mass casualty drill.

Portage Lakes State Park Beach was transformed into a training ground. In fact, two people have drowned in that water this year.

“Statistics show tells us drowning victim has been resuscitated up to 90 minutes. So the quicker we can get our equipment out, get organized.. the better chance of survivability,” said Burroughs.

During the training event, there was a staged mass boating accident and the rescue teams had to work together to get everyone to safety.

You may be wondering why all the agencies are out here during this training drill, well that’s because Portage Lakes spans across so many cities and towns that if a tragic accident was to occur, emergency personnel from those towns would respond.

“It’s a vast amount of water, this lake is so we’re going to need a bunch of agencies to come and help us,” Jason Marzilli of the Greene Fire Department.

Marzilli says it’s so important to be prepared for anything when it comes to water.

“It’s a recreational lake it’s what everyone comes out to enjoy. Unforeseen incidents where people need our services so we want to be prepared for it,” Marzilli added.

While crews are equipped to handle emergency situations, Marzilli and Burroughs say people should always be careful while out in the water.

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