Water Rescue Equipment Training Held
By Susan Thompson
On September 27, 2018, Kim Lubeck died while waterskiing on Lake Panorama. Lubeck had been diagnosed with Lyme disease, after being bitten by a deer tick in his Lake Panorama backyard earlier in the year. An autopsy stated his death was caused by a sudden cardiac event, with a likely link to Lyme disease.
Many people gave generous financial gifts in Lubeck’s memory. Phillip Lubeck lives and works in New Zealand. An avid scuba diver, he is part of that country’s Coast Guard water rescue team. After his father’s death, Phillip encouraged Maureen Lubeck to see if there was equipment that might help with Lake Panorama water rescues.
LPA staff research came up with a floating backboard system, which the Lubeck family reviewed, then purchased with funds given in memory of Kim.
Jerry Armstrong, LPA Security chief, showed it to members of the Panora Fire Department at their meeting May 6. A hands-on training session for the members of the fire department and the LPA staff was held at Lake Panorama’s Boulder Beach July 17. Phillip and Maureen Lubeck also were on hand to see the rescue equipment in action.
The backboard is made of heavy plastic that can be rolled up similar to a sleeping bag. The board includes inflatable packs on the sides and front. Once a person is secured to the backboard with a series of straps, the inflated packs keep the backboard afloat, plus ensure the person remains face-up in water.
All needed equipment comes in a large orange bag. Besides water rescues, where the victim needs to be pulled from the water into a boat or onto a dock, the backboard also can be used to drag a victim across land.
The Panora Fire Department has 24-hour access to LPA security boats, so if a kit is needed and LPA security officers haven’t yet arrived, the device still will be available to rescuers.