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New Surf Rescue Group Aims to Speed Response Times

Wed, 07/03/2024 - 09:45

Jimmy Minardi, a veteran lifeguard on East Hampton Village beaches, has announced the launch of the East Hampton Village Surf Rescue Response Team, a new nonprofit organization that will bring in even more helping hands when swimmers are in danger.

Aimed at decreasing emergency response times during hours when lifeguards are typically off duty, the new rescue team has enrolled more than 35 off-duty village lifeguards who have provided police dispatchers with their cellphone numbers and agreed to be contacted in an emergency.

“They’re young, which is important for a rescue swimmer. They’re always surfing and always around — everyone’s nearby,” Mr. Minardi said. “It’s a great way to help solve the problem and decrease response time to the person who needs to be rescued. That’s the beauty of the idea — it’s efficient, there is no cost to the taxpayer, and it enhances the already-in-place programs that we have in the village.”

The official launch was 24 years in the making. That’s how long it took him, he said, to get the go-ahead from village officials. They’re on board now — including Mayor Jerry Larsen, Mr. Minardi said.

“With the E.H.V. Surf Rescue, we hope to augment our first responders in decreasing response time and keeping our beaches even safer,” Mr. Larsen said in a statement. C.S.

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