It is not everyday you expect to see firefighters out on the water, but for the Federal Point Water Rescue Team, it's common practice. It is their job to patrol the coast from Carolina Beach to Kure Beach and everything in between. With temperatures rising and more and more people out on the water, a call for help is sure to happen. "We can get four or five at one time, or go days without having anything. Generally in the summer time we average a few a week, at least," said Captain Jonathan Burton of Federal Point Water Rescue Team. The team will usually assist lifeguards or the Coast Guard in rescues, or searches for those in distress. The fire department also has its own dive team, but for this patrol, it's just a team of two. The water rescue team will typically spend the day up and down the coast, patrolling in case a call comes in where they'll need to spring into action. The truth is the water rescue team has to contend with much more on the water than fighting a fire. "They can range from a jellyfish sting to a vessel capsize, sinking or a drowning call," Burton said. More than 20 volunteer firefighters work on the water rescue team. Each member spends months, and even years, in training to just volunteer their time to help those in need. Burton said, "I guess you could call it waiting on an accident to happen, but our main goal is to prevent that accident from happening by community awareness." Spreading awareness is much easier than having to respond to a true emergency. That is why Captain Burton and others say they will continue their mission. The Federal Point Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in training call the department at 910-796-7203.
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