VENICE - Choppy waters make for perfect training conditions, and that is exactly what Venice Fire Department took advantage of Wednesday to kick start their three day water training.

Firefighters sharpened their skills running drills utilizing the agency’s rescue boat and jet ski to locate a down diver via sonar. This multiple day training is unique yet vital for Venice Fire. Lieutenant Matthew Tomer says responding to water rescue calls happens frequently.

"We have a lot of intracoastal water way, we cover a lot of the coast line of the Gulf of Mexico. So this training helps guys in working with launching the jet skis from the beach and then working in rough seas to transfer patients and personnel from the rescue boat to the jet ski," says Lt. Tomer.

Crews were also introduced to using a loaner LUCAS device, a chest compression system which Lt. Tomer says has potential to benefit the department tremendously. “If you go out with three people which is our minimum, that’s all you have. So, if you have someone you’re doing chest compressions on one person is dedicated solely to hands on chest compressions. This LUCAS device will then free up that person to assist in other BLS life-saving capabilities or maneuvering the boat, or searching for other victims depending on what’s going on with the call," says Lt. Tomer.

Battalion Chief Scott Blanchard stresses the importance of realistic training scenarios, especially as the department is positioned to expand their service to include taking over the ambulance services for the City of Venice.

“We train a lot here. Something might spawn from that that you weren’t even thinking about and can incorporate that in the next training. We’re trying to stay on the cutting edge," explains Chief Blanchard.

Venice Fire will continue water rescue training through Friday.