Mississippi River Rescue
By: Tony Hensley
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --Pulling a victim from the river is not an easy task. It requires years of training, and the know-how to approach someone who is fighting for their life in the water.
Thursday morning Cape Girardeau firefighters tested equipment that could be used to save someone caught in the dangerous mighty Mississippi.
Around 11 a.m. I suited up along with the Cape Girardeau Fire Department to play a drowning victim caught up in the current. One that from the banks, May look harmless. Tony says, "I have to admit. I'm a little nervous here. Now normally your average victim would not be in something like this but this is more for my safety in this particular situation then anything. So I guess here I go."
Captain Brad Dillow with the Cape Girardeau Fire Department says, "From the minute we get the call probably within ten minutes we can be down here ready to get into the river and on our way to the rescue."
And the tools used to help respond faster. Two rescue watercraft donated by the Boothill Buggies out of Dexter, Missouri. Captain Brad Dillow says, "With these rescue water crafts the speed the resilience, the maneuverability of them that really gives us and advantage over the boat that we have their. A lot faster we can get there . A lot faster with these and their more maneuverable."
After about thirty minutes of briefing, I was ready to get into the water. In just a matter of minutes the current had moved move about a hundred yards down river. Captain Brad Dillow says, "Stay calm sir! We're going to get you." Then Dillow says, "GO!!!"
The situation that I was in, is exactly what the guys do when trying to pull someone from the dangerous waters. Captain Dillow says, "It they are some what still going to be in distress, I'm really going to grab a hold of you and jerk you in hard and try and clamp you down and I have control at that time."