30 March, 2015

VIDEO: Moncton’s Neoteric Hovercraft Prepares to Rescue Snowmobilers

The spring melt is well underway in many parts of the world, and those areas where first responders have a Neoteric hovercraft available for ice rescues are exceptionally well-prepared. Those that don’t? Well, you might want to watch this video about the Moncton Fire Department in Canada …

Moncton’s first responders are not only equipped with the most effective ice, mud and water rescue vehicle available, they’ve thoroughly trained to use it. When they purchased their craft in 2012, Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald, who is Hovercraft Training Centers’ Senior Flight Instructor, traveled to Canada with HTC Flight Instructor Steve Stafford to conduct intensive pilot training on Moncton’s new 6-passenger rescue hovercraft.

Moncton’s training was interesting – it included having the hovercraft run over a firefighter! Canada’s Global News reported, “Moncton Fire Department Captain Steve Crawford said it was a “strange sensation” to have the department’s new hovercraft run him over in the city’s McLaughlin Road reservoir yesterday. Crawford played the victim in a demonstration of its latest piece of high-tech emergency equipment. Wearing a helmet and life jacket, he was dropped into the water, and then the hovercraft, piloted by Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. founder Chris Fitzgerald, flew out to rescue him. To demonstrate just how safe the craft is, Fitzgerald literally drove over Crawford before the sopping wet firefighter was scooped out of the water.”

You know it’s not going to hurt you, but it’s a strange sensation to have any sort of craft fly over you,” Crawford said.

During training, Fire Chief Eric Arsenault said the hovercraft is a “great addition to our toolbox,” adding it is quicker to deploy than a boat. The hovercraft can be taken from its trailer and be in the water in minutes.

Hundreds of people die in ice-related accidents each year in the United States alone, but many fire departments and rescue organizations haven’t yet recognized the importance of hovercraft as an ice, mud and water rescue tool. “You need fire departments like Moncton that are prepared to be first adopters,” Fitzgerald said. “They’re really pioneers.”

How can your department determine if a hovercraft would improve you first responders’ rescue capabilities? An easy, low-cost way is to take a hovercraft Test Flight or Flight Training Course.

12 March, 2015

VIDEO: Neoteric Hovercraft rescues 10 deer from icy ocean

On Sunday, first responders from the Onset Fire Department used their Neoteric Workhorse hovercraft to rescue 10 deer that had fallen through the ice at Long Beach Point in Wareham, Massachusetts ...

Video by David G. Curran, Satellite News Service

This rescue illustrates the longevity of Neoteric hovercraft. Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald explains, “This is a hovercraft we built in 1990, still in service and still performing successful rescues. And when salt water freezes, it’s darn cold!”

Wareham officials said this type of rescue operation “is risky for emergency personnel, especially on unstable frozen saltwater.” And, statistically, the most frequent victims in ice rescue operations are animals, children, ice fishermen, skaters, snowmobilers – and first responders.

This is why hovercraft are an essential vehicle for ice rescues. A hovercraft is the only vehicle that can fly easily over thin or broken ice; other ice rescue equipment requires solid ice at least 5 inches thick. But a hovercraft flies 9 inches above the surface, keeping first responders above the danger, not in it.

This is not the first time a Neoteric hovercraft has come to the aid of the deer population. Last year a Neoteric HoverTrek™ rescued three exhausted deer stranded for days on the ice of Albert Lea Lake in Minnesota. Watch the video ...