Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service crews launched two new water rescue units Saturday during a training exercise at the St. Vital Boat Launch. The new units will help maintain the WFPS’s capacity for water, ice and swift water rescues.

“This is another great example of the innovative solutions and value for money projects being undertaken at the City of Winnipeg,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Investment in equipment and technology that enhance public safety and the safety of our first responders is an important consideration in our annual budget planning.”

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Deputy Chief Tom Wallace said the new technology will benefit the public and members of the water rescue team.

“These units are more nimble because they enable the rapid delivery and deployment of the rescue boat that is stored within the vehicle. By reducing the time it takes to put these units in the water, we gain valuable time during a rescue operation and can reach people faster,” said Wallace.

The deputy chief added the onboard auxiliary power units that activate after five minutes of idle time will help reduce carbon emissions.

A rapid deployment ice rescue system has also been added which will help improve response times for emergency crews.

The two new units cost $543,000 each, and will replace the existing units.