Get training first ... and throw bags.
Before selecting equipment, consider training first. There are several companies who provide training and recommend unique pieces of equipment thatq make working in the swift water environment safer for rescuers while increasing the for a sucessful outcome for the victims.
Dive Rescue International was recently featured on WBIR in Knox County TN for providing training to the rescue squad (see below). For information on similar training you can call Dive Rescue International at 800-248-3483 of visit their webpage online at:
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RESCUE SQUADS RECEIVE VALUABLE TRAINING
With heavy rains that can cause flooding and lots of people out on area lakes and rivers, summer can be a busy season for East Tennessee rescue squads.
Saturday, teams from all over the region learned techniques to help save themselves and others in the event of a swift water emergency.
Crews trained in Anderson County, along the banks of the Clinch River, just yards away from fishermen who know how dangerous the waters can be.
"If you slip, you're going to go down the river," says Tim Hudson.
Jerry Richert, a corporate trainer from Dive Rescue International, based in Colorado, trains these men and women how to use their knowledge of the river to their advantage.
"The river is powerful," says Richert. "It's relentless, but it's predictable."
Without proper training, the rescue teams can become part of a water emergency.
"Something that a non-trained rescue team would do is common sense, like to hook themselves to a rope and get in moving water to get someone out," says Richert. "It's probably one of the worst things you could possibly do."
Instead, teams learn to toss a rope to a victim first, before getting in the water themselves.
Richert says a lack of training kills water rescuers every year. The chief of the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad hopes this training means that will never happen to any members of his team.
"My goal everyday is when our rescuers respond to a call, they go home from where they came from," says Chief John Yu.
TVA released water from the Norris Dam into the river to help create the swift water environment. The rescue squads will have a second day of swift water training Sunday under even more difficult conditions.