• Last modified 623 days ago (June 7, 2018)


Firefighters brush up water rescue skills

Staff writer

Firefighters from Hillsboro and Newton brushed up floodwater and swift water rescue skills Saturday and Sunday at Marion Reservoir.

Firefighters waded into water below the dam, carrying life vests for a mock “flood victim” and pulled him safely to shore Saturday.

A total of 13 firefighters, 10 of them from Hillsboro, also practiced tossing out a rope to the “victim.”

“The guys in the water learned a lot about how to get the patient and get them back in,” Hillsboro chief Ben Steketee said.

On Sunday, firefighters went to Marion Cove to practice swift water rescue, walking into the water in formation to retrieve a “victim” trapped in fast-flowing water.

“Another scenario was entering the water where you kick and push your arms out at the same time so you keep your head above the water,” Steketee said. “We also learned to handle a panicking victim, so the victim and the firefighter don’t get hurt. A drowning victim will do anything to get out of the water.”

Firefighters practiced how to get a suicidal person out of water after they have jumped from a bridge.

“The next scenario we did was Boy Scouts on an island in the middle of a river and we had to get them off,” Steketee said.

Last modified June 7, 2018