Water Rescue Training Levels
Fire Departments get called for lots of things, including water rescues that can range from a possible drowning in a pool, to swift water rescues. These are dangerous situations, and I've been wondering about training, certifications, equipment, and sop's.
I wonder how many departments really expect a firefighter that is untrained in water rescue (advanced lifesaving course as a minimum, I would think) to jump into the water and attempt to rescue a drowning victim, or someone barely clinging to an object in a swift water situation? How many departments require that a firefighter applicant, or an incumbent firefighter for that matter, know how to swim and pass a proficiency test each year???
Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. I'm concerned for our firefighters' safety and welfare, and I firmly believe that they should not be asked, or ordered, to do something that they have not been trained for, have not been properly equipped to do, or do not have the ability to do.
There's apparently a lack of any "standards" for this sort of thing, I haven't found anything in NFPA relating to this, and that's pretty much the bible for us.
And before I get jumped on by those that think firefighters should do "something", just because we responded to the call....consider this. Would you send someone into a hazmat situation, or a burning building, that is not properly trained and equipped???