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As South Carolina continues to deal with catastrophic flooding, Hall County Fire Services’ (HCFS) Marine Rescue Team is learning how to respond if that type of disaster struck our community.
“When Hall County experienced some minor flooding several years ago, we knew we had to educate our personnel and be prepared for future flooding events,” said Hall County Fire Chief Jeff Hood. “It just so happens that the Marine Rescue Team’s previously-scheduled training coincided with the devastation that’s currently being felt in South Carolina.”
Twelve members of HCFS’ Marine Rescue Team completed a three-day swift water rescue technician class last week. The class was hosted by Lumpkin County Emergency Services and was conducted on the Chattahoochee River and Lumpkin County Reservoir.
The class focused on providing personnel the proper training for dealing with moving water incidents, similar to what was experienced in South Carolina. Personnel learned about the hydrology and the power of water, self-rescue techniques; throw bags, proper moving water swimming techniques, high line rigging and operations, contact rescues, incident action plan development and implementation, boat operations/handling, and equipment specific to moving water incidents.
“It’s crucial for the men and women of Hall County Fire Services to remain proactive in their approach to the challenges and rigors of day-to-day responses,” Hood said. “It is our honor to protect the lives of Hall County citizens, and last week’s training made the members of our Marine Rescue Team better equipped to do just that.”
Among those attending the training were Battalion Chief Kris Boggs, who assisted with the instruction, Lieutenant Alton Lee, Lieutenant Shane Peck, Sergeant Charlie Gorrell, Sergeant Clive Mead, Sergeant Robert Flesher, Sergeant Jonathan Barton, Sergeant Nick Overby, Firefighter Zachary Mills, Firefighter Wayne Whaley, Firefighter Harold Fraser, Firefighter Robert Escalante, and Firefighter Clint Carey.