MASON CITY, Iowa - Summer fun on, in and near the water doesn't come without its own set of dangers. That's why Mason City firefighters have been tirelessly preparing for peril, even in recreation hotspots.
First, it was fighting a fire using a simulator. Then, a swift water rescue using a rope and boat on the Winnebago River. Now, crews are practicing using other tools in their arsenal: a jet ski and boat on Big Blue.
Kate Sainci was one of those that took to the water Monday morning. She's been with the department for 8 years, and has yet to use the boat in a rescue situation.
"It's always fun to go out and train, especially going out on the water on a day like today. And who doesn't like going out on a jet ski?"
Because the department uses the jet ski about once a year, it took some time to get the hang of it.
"You're always thinking of what could be, what could happen. There's diving buoys out there so you're thinking about what's in the water, what could you hit, what you need to avoid."
For Logan Hoiland, it's his first time using the jet ski in a rescue scenario in his one year with the department.
"I probably spent more time in the water flipping over the jet ski because it was something I've never done before. There's a lot of balancing you have to do."
Throughout his time with MCFD, he's been able to hone his skills because of training exercises.
"I feel a lot more confident than I would've been in the spring. It's always nice to get out and train, it's been a perfect summer for it, we've had good weather all year."
And while it may not be an easy job, he couldn't imagine doing anything else.
"It's one of those jobs, probably the only job I've ever had where I wake up and don't dread coming into work."
Even with cooler weather on the horizon, Lt. Carl Ginapp says the training doesn't stop, as crews will continue to train throughout the year.
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