Firefighters prepare for flooding by practicing water rescues

With flooding in Mid-Missouri, Jefferson City firefighters are making sure they know exactly what to do

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Flooding and rains have caused some emergency crews to make sure they're caught up on water rescues. The Jefferson City Fire Department spent Thursday training at a local pool. Officials tell ABC 17 News they need to keep their skills sharp for situations like floods.

Firefighters said they've had to make several more water rescues this year than they did last year. They say there is a good chance when they show up to a scene they will either need to be in, on, or around water. Firefighters said that's why it's so important to know what they're doing.

Firefighters said unlike a pool, flood waters carry more obstacles. They believe training sessions help to not have to worry about what needs to happen during a rescue so they can focus on those obstacles.

"That speed can change and cause a lot of debris to come out in the water, so we need to be protected from that debris as well as the water itself being contaminated with who knows what," Jefferson City Department Captain Casey Hughes said.

Hughes said water rescues are not very common. But when rivers and creeks begin to rise, they know they'll be called into action. Hughes said it's not uncommon for them to have more than five rescues in a week. He said they even periodically get called out to help with some in other jurisdictions. Firefighters believe its important they know what to do to take control of the situation.

"If someone is getting washed away in some flood waters, the last thing that we want to do is get in that water with them so we will always do as the lifeguards here do, reach, throw, row, tow, and go," Hughes said.

Firefighters do training sessions every now and then throughout the year, but they say it's important to have them around this time of year with the threats of floods.

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