1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Default swift water rescue teams

    I was trying to gather some information as to what equipment is carried by swift water rescue teams, how many members comprise the teams, what levels of training are required, how do you transport the equipment and members to the incident.

    Any info would help out, as we are in the process of looking into initiating such a team.

    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Wheaton IL


    A lot would depend on the body of water you will be working in. Is it the Ohio river or just a small stream.
    In my immediate area we have small streams that turn ugly during flooding and heavy storms.
    At their lowest you can ground a row boat. And that is where the danger lies. Guys let their guard down because they are used to the lack of risk most of the year.
    The engine carries throw bags and PFD's, and we can set up a catch downstream if needed. The dive team can dive current but for surface rescue we don't usually enter the water. The dive trailer can set up a rope system for the boat to be in the water. The most likely catch system we would set up uses an inflatable 2.5" hose.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    BladesRobinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Indian River County, Florida

    Default 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:
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    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.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    Thanks Blades for the Info. Let me ask you this, where can I find some type of grant funding source and any other materials I can get on the topic.

    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    makes good girls go bad
    BLSboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    On the beach, Fla/OCNJ


    I recommend to check out the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) website (www.usla.com) and see what their reccomendations on SWRTs are. They have equipment lists, safety checklists, and more to checkout. Also, I personally recomend that ALL who plan on doing rescues are a) Strong swimmers, and b) Certified Lifeguards. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at MFDSquad71Engine@yahoo.com, or you can reach me on AIM at Rustygrd2069

    Good luck

    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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