MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ– Middlesex County officials dedicated six new emergency response boats to be used during water-related emergencies.

“During Super Storm Sandy and various other water-related events, the County recognized a need for resources to specifically address these types of emergencies and rescue operations,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chairman of the County’s Public Safety and Health Committee. “These new boats and equipment, along with the specialized water rescue training for our emergency personnel, strengthens our overall countywide emergency response.”

“It is our belief that by continuing to learn from past events, we become more proficient in responding to all future situations and have the resources, training, and personnel necessary to protect our residents,”  said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Our residents’ safety is paramount, and we will continue to assess ways to protect them.”

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The County purchased four lightweight inflatable boats, equipped with motors, trailers and all emergency accessories. They will be assigned to four towns in Middlesex County: South Amboy, Highland Park, Middlesex Borough and South River. The towns will maintain and operate the boats during emergencies in their respective towns, as well as throughout the County.

The County also purchased a “Milpro Marine Rescue I Boat Package,” which includes a 12-foot-long inflatable boat and a 14-foot-long, flat-bottom rescue boat equipped with motors, trailers and other emergency accessories needed for water-related rescue and emergency operations.

Ten emergency responders from each participating municipality and 15 members of Middlesex County’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team will be trained in boat safety, water rescue awareness and water rescue operations.

This training will fully certify these responders to participate in basic water-related rescue operations.  Additionally, the USAR team members will be certified in advanced water rescue training. The basic training in conjunction with this specialized training fully certifies the USAR members in all facets of water-rescue operations.