Friday, December 8, 2017

Ferries crew recognized for water rescue

Jason Rossi and Wayne Reed shuttle an overturned kayaker to safety in Edmonds on Oct. 20
by Mike Allende

Jason Rossi and Wayne Reed say it was no big deal. Just what they train for and part of their job. OK, that may be true. But, still, it is a big deal.

On Oct. 20, Rossi, Reed and the rest of the crew of the ferry Spokane had just arrived at the Edmonds terminal when the emergency alarm sounded. The alarm alerts crew that a rescue is needed. And indeed, a kayaker had overturned and was in trouble.

The crew sprang into action and Rossi and Reed took their places in the rescue boat. Other crew members helped get the boat lowered into the water. Rossi and Reed then motored to the kayaker, getting him into the rescue boat and taking him to waiting aid crews on shore. The kayaker was treated for hypothermia but was otherwise OK. The entire rescue took about seven minutes.

For their efforts, Reed and Rossi were awarded a Life Ring Award during a ceremony aboard the Spokane on Dec. 7.

"It’s what we train for," Rossi said. "We had great teamwork. You’re always glad when you can help someone in need."

Wayne Reed (left) and Jason Rossi prepare for a water rescue training drill aboard the ferry Spokane.
"We were just doing our job," Reed added. "The rescue we did, it was like second nature because we train for it all the time."

Every ferry crew in our fleet trains every week for a variety of emergency scenarios, including water rescues, fires and medical emergencies. New employees go through a variety of training before they ever begin a shift, everything from first aid to firefighting certification. This year, our ferry crews have responded to 81 rescue/medical emergencies.

"Safety is job No. 1 for us, both for the public and our crews," Assistant Secretary for Ferries Amy Scarton said. "(Secretary of Transportation) Roger Millar and I both went through the training so we saw first hand what our workers go through."

Our ferries crew do a great job of getting the 25 million people who ride every year to their destinations safely, and we’re especially proud of them when they step up and put their safety training into action by helping someone in need. Great job Jason, Wayne and the rest of the Spokane crew!
Assistant Secretary for Ferries Amy Scarton congratulates Jason Rossi (right) and Wayne Reed on receiving Life Ring awards for their effort in rescuing an overturned kayaker in October