Cape Girardeau firefighters complete water rescue training

Cape Girardeau firefighters complete water rescue training

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Firefighters have to be ready for all kinds of emergencies. During the recent flooding, many worked calls, bringing others to safety.

On Wednesday, about a dozen Cape Girardeau firefighters did some specialized training in swift water rescue. The training is all about being prepared for the worst.

"The only way to stay in practice is to train," Chris Venable said.

From understanding the power of water, to knowing how to maneuver safely and staying calm, it's all about bringing the victim and yourself back to dry land.

"People think that, you know six, eight, ten inches of water isn't that big of a deal and they can drive right across it and not be in any trouble and that's not the case," Dustin Keorber said.

Members of this specialized team work on techniques like the "J Hook," which is a way to use a fast turn of the boat to help snatch stranded swimmers.

While they say these situations swift water rescue situations are rare, when they do happen, they're high-risk.

"Just getting in a boat and running a boat is one thing but you have to prepare yourself to be in the water in very rough conditions," Battalion Chief Brad Dillow said.

Not only do they practice the drills themselves, but they also train to work efficiently as a team.

"Everybody has their strengths and their weakness," Keorber said.

So, next time there's a rescue like this one, they'll be ready.

Swift water rescue is just one of many areas in which the special rescue team is trained.

They do training in one of the different areas once a month.

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