On November 30, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., Jacksonville (FL) Fire Rescue Department (JFRD) received a call from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) marine mam- mal biologists Nadia Gordon and Allison Perna for assistance
in removing a manatee from a storm drain in the 4300 block of Davinci
Ave in Jacksonville. It would prove to be the beginning of a six-hour
operation that required a multiagency coordinated effort.
West Indian manatees, endangered marine mammals, are found in
rivers and creeks in most of Florida. They can be up to 3,000 pounds
and 10 to 13 feet long and primarily move in shallow water, feeding on
plants along the bottom. Normally known for having a slow, nonaggressive nature, they are often injured by passing motor boat propellers.
The call was directed to the JFRD technical rescue team (TRT),
based out of stations 4 and 13. The TRT consists of 12 personnel who
are urban search and rescue technicians staffing one heavy rescue, one
ladder, and two engines. One special operations district chief is also
assigned per shift.
BY ROBIN R. GAINEY
A sump was excavated at one end of the
area and the TRT’s mud pump was placed
into the area to control any water issues.
(Photos by JFRD Media Personnel.)