Bank provides rescue suits to Manistique Public Safety

MANISTIQUE — Nicolet Bank recently continued its efforts in making a difference in Schoolcraft County. This difference was in the form of safety equipment for the Manistique Public Safety Department. More specifically the purchase of four Mustang lce Commander rescue suits to assist Manistique Public Safety in the response to ice and cold-water rescues throughout Schoolcraft County.

Even though the department currently owns the same type of suits, most of the suits were becoming older and had structural integrity issues. Half of the suits currently being used by Manistique Public Safety leaked even though they have been repeatedly serviced. Some of the current suits were obtained from a donation more than 15 years ago from the U.S. Coast Guard after they took them out of service.

The discussion of two new suits came up within the last several months due to a recent tragedy where multiple local residents fell through the ice on lndian Lake and staff from Manistique Public Safety responded. lt was after this unfortunate event that communications between Manistique Public Safety Director Tim Russell and local Nicolet Bank employees started about the possibility of purchasing two new rescue suits.

Nicolet Bank responded by going beyond the department’s expectations, they offered to purchase four Mustang lce Commander rescue suits. This was a complete surprise to Director Russell and the department who did not know where they were going to find the funding to replace just two of the aging rescue suits.

Director Tim Russell acknowledged that the donation is a perfect complement to the department’s efforts to respond to various emergencies, including ice and cold-water rescues. Director Russell explained that Manistique Public Safety is one of only a few agencies within Schoolcraft County to both have and be trained in the use of the Mustang lce Commander suits for rescue operations. The agency has regular trainings, so staff understand the suit’s full capabilities. Besides in-house training events staff also take part in certification courses that give them lce Rescue I Technician Level designations. Because of the ample amount of water in Schoolcraft County the department has been called upon many times for rescue operations because of the equipment and personnel they possess.

The Manistique Public Safety Department is ever grateful to Nicolet Bank and its employees for realizing a need in the community and responding with such generosity. Director Russell notes that it is collaborations such as these in a rural area that strengthens the community. ln this case making ice and cold water rescues safer for Public Safety responders and those they serve.


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