City of Bartlesville

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 2:19 PMUpdated: Sep 13, 2019 3:01 PM

Fire Department Trains with Swift Water Rescue Boat

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Garrett Giles

After last spring’s historic flooding event in Washington County and the surrounding area, many are preparing for the next high-water disaster.

The Bartlesville Fire Department is one group that has taken the time to prepare for such a reoccurrence. Public Information Officer Bill Hollander said the BFD has purchased a swift water rescue boat, and have been practicing on the City-owned Hudson Lake. He said the training is very physically demanding.

the two day class took place last week. The 15 individuals from the fire department learned how to make sharp turns in the boat, how to flip the boat back over if it capsizes, and how to re-enter the boat if they exit the boat to search for a flood victim or item.

Since the flood, Hollander said all departments have made way for new equipment. He said there is different equipment needs for different scenarios.

The BFD now feels as if they are outfitted with all the equipment they need in case a flood event like the one that was experienced with the Caney River and Sand Creek several months ago hits again. Training is just another way for them to be certified and ready.

A static boat and a banana boat at the Bartlesville Fire Department were used last spring to perform water rescues when the historic flooding hit. Dewey resident Melvin Offutt lent out his air boat to help in swift water situations.

In total, 99 rescues were made. The recent training was provided by Mid-America Rescue of Tulsa. The training continues in swift water rescue tactics next Friday, Sept. 20th in Oklahoma City.

(Photo courtesy: City Beat)

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