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Fire cadets get swiftwater rescue training
Several fire academy cadets with the Yuma Fire Department got to practice conducting swiftwater rescues Monday in the rough waters of the East Main Canal.
According to Mike Erfert, YFD spokesman, the training was intended to give the cadets real-world experience with the equipment and techniques they would use when responding to an actual emergency.
“We have specially trained personnel for swiftwater rescues. But as a member of an engine company, a newly assigned firefighter could be called to participate in a water rescue. Because of that, they need to be familiar with the techniques and safety equipment being used, and know how to apply it.”
Erfert added that with the numerous canals and rivers within the city, Yuma firefighters are regularly called upon to rescue people who have gotten into some type of water distress.
“It's not something that we are unfamiliar with.”
Wearing the flotation device and other safety equipment they would actually wear in rescue situations, the cadets spent time in and out of the water practicing land- and water-based skills such as how to throw a rope line, swimming in rough water and how to rescue an unconscious or incapacitated victim. The techniques can be applied to both slow- and fast-moving water.
Erfert said moving water is dangerous and trying to rescue somebody from it can be extremely difficult. He added that not only does the training help the future firefighters understand what it takes to rescue somebody from swift water, it also helps them recognize the hazards involved.
The cadets will return to the Public Safety Training Facility, 3575 S. Avenue 4E, Tuesday for more live fire training from 5 to 10 a.m.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.