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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Less than a week after the fire departments of Lake and Jerusalem townships held a joint training session with an all-terrain vehicle along Lake Erie, the vehicle played a vital role in an emergency situation on the frozen lake.

Lake Township Fire Chief Bruce Moritz said his department’s Argo vehicle - which can be equipped with wheels or tracks and can float - was used Feb. 17 to rescue a man from the lake who became disoriented looking for his two lost sons.

Chief Moritz said personnel from the Jerusalem Township and City of Oregon fire departments operated the vehicle to locate the man and return him to the shore.

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Rescue workers from Oregon, Jerusalem Township, Toledo Fire and Rescue, along with a Coast Guard helicopter responded after two boys were lost on the frozen lake during a family outing at Maumee Bay State Park. The family became separated after blowing snow affected visibility. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)

The family had been visiting Maumee Bay State Park.

The boys, who also had become disoriented when the wind kicked up, had walked to Turtle Island before being located.

“It was a good outcome,” Chief Moritz said during Tuesday’s meeting of the Lake Township trustees.

Lake Township personnel responded to the emergency with the vehicle as part of a mutual aid request. Park rangers and the Coast Guard also responded.

Chief Moritz said more training sessions with the vehicle will be held in a few weeks as spring – and the prospect of the lake thawing – approach.

“They liked what they saw,” he said of Jerusalem Township personnel who worked with the vehicle.

On Feb. 16, personnel from the Coast Guard, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and Jerusalem Township assisted an injured snowmobiler off the lake near Crane Creek.

The injured man requested assistance but was unsure of his location. A sheriff’s deputy walked to the man about a mile offshore and radioed the Coast Guard and township fire department.

After fire department personnel secured the man to a backboard, the Coast Guard placed him in an inflatable rescue craft that was towed to shore with the man’s snowmobile.

Snow issues

Lake Township’s road department racked up 344 ½ hours of overtime in January due to snow removal efforts, Dan McLargin, road supervisor, reported to the trustees.

Another four hours were needed to replace two stop signs, he said.

Ron Hanely, parks director, and Greg Smith, a department employee, were also used to plow subdivision streets.

McLargin estimated the township’s supply of road salt at 200 tons. Another 300 tons are on order but he was doubtful it would be received before spring.

If the township’s supply dwindles too much it will be used primarily at intersections, he said.

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s said recently no salt companies submitted bids to sell an additional 150,000 tons of salt to the state, which had planned to distribute it to local governments.

Chief Moritz urged township residents to “adopt” a fire hydrant in their neighborhoods by clearing the snow from around the hydrants.

“That would make it much easier for our firemen,” he said.

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