Video: Firefighters use hovercrafts for training
The hovercraft can be used for ice and water rescues
By John Swinconeck
SHREWSBURY, Mass. — With a length of 4 miles and a surface area of about 770 acres, the oddly shaped Lake Quinsigamond can be a challenge for safety patrols, especially as it intermittently freezes and thaws over the winter. The Shrewsbury Fire Department, however, has one unusual piece of equipment to make search and rescues on the lake easier — a two-person hovercraft.
Fire department personnel have been training to use the vehicle, which can travel safely over the lake, whether the lake’s surface is frozen or not. The hovercraft is used for ice and water rescues, according to Fire Chief Jim Vuona, whose department services as the primary ice-rescue agency on the lake.
“In warmer weather, you have the police boat on the lake. Obviously, it’s in shrink-wrap right now,” he said. “The advantage of the hovercraft is it can go over broken ice."