MADISON (WKOW) -- To speed up water and ice rescues, Dane County is loaning equipment to the Madison Fire Department.
An airboat will now be kept, 24/7, at Madison Fire Station number 1.
The boat was put to use right away Tuesday afternoon for lake rescue training.
"It's something the chief and I have talked about for some time. We need to position this close and provide for a quicker response." said Sheriff Dave Mahoney.
"We've always used the air boat, we just didn't; have it there initially. We've always had to call the Sheriff's Office and ask. And depending on where Sheriff's staff was at the time, that could add possibly, 15, 20, 30 minutes to that rescue." said MFD Chief Steven Davis.
First responders say ice rescues are especially challenging because of variations in ice thickness.
The airboat will help them overcome that issue.
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