Eau Claire Fire Department practices water rescue drills

(WEAU) To prevent water fatalities, the Eau Claire Fire Department today practiced using rescue equipment at the YMCA.

Lieutenant Loren Travis led the training for the Fire Department.

He said, “We have our divers in the water so if somebody's underwater or a vehicle underwater that is not visible from the surface they are the ones that go underwater to do the rescue underwater.”

The purpose for the training was to help quicken recovery efforts during times of emergency.

Travis added, “Its kind of a mind over matter thing is if they have a comfortable feeling with their suits and feel comfortable then they do a better job.

Firefighter Abel Peterson said, “It’s good for us to get in the water and use the equipment, familiarize ourselves with it. So when there is an incident, it’s more muscle memory as opposed to figuring it out on the scene.”

The scuba gear training has proved to pay off due to past incidents where the dive team has been utilized.

Travis even said, “We have pulled a couple victims out of the river this year from swimming accidents, drownings. We had the boat accident up at Hallie that divers have been on.

The YMCA assisted in allowing the team to use the pool for underwater diving and snorkeling drills. Aquatics director Becky Adamski understands the importance behind the training.

The YMCA Aquatics Director Becky Adamski added, "Were really committed here at the Y to making sure that we can at least prevent or minimize the opportunity for a death in the area."

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