OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Should a flooding crisis strike, Oklahoma City firefighters are prepared to save you from rushing waters.
Using the strong currents at Riversport OKC, they got some practice in on Friday.
“I can tell you, in your career, you’re going to make several swift water rescues and you’re going to need to be ready for it,” said Chief Greg Merrill, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
Oklahoma City firefighters are prepared to protect and serve in all situations, even powerful rushing waters.
Their swift water rescue teams try to hit these waters at Riversport OKC as often as possible.
“This is the exact equipment that we have on our own apparatus and we want to train with equipment we’re going to use,” Merrill said. “It gives us an opportunity to really challenge ourselves.”
Merrill says the department is adding two new swift water and diving stations, one on the city’s northwest side and one on the southeast side.
“To give us better coverage and help protect our citizens even better than we already do,” he said.
Should you find yourself in need of rescue, Merrill says the best thing you can do is stay in place and follow firefighters’ commands.
“Obviously, if the car’s being sunk then yes, you want to get out but if you are stranded in your car, stay there and wait for the firefighters,” said Merrill.
In these situations, these firefighters know the only thing they can expect is the unexpected.
“That’s one thing, it’s hard to predict how bad the water’s going to be and that’s why we always say turn around and don’t drown,” Merrill said.
The last week of August, Riversport will be hosting first responders from across the country for a swift water rescue conference.