Swift water rescue training in Richmond - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Swift water rescue training in Richmond

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The number of people getting into serious trouble on the James is on the rise. The Richmond Fire Department has been called out on more than 40 rescues since March.

The Richmond Fire Department is making sure its members can handle the James during an emergency. They are practicing life saving techniques not only for you but for themselves.

"It's pretty challenging as you see out there, they're having to work to paddle those rafts around," said Richmond Fire Department Lt. Brian Dalrymple.

Twenty firefighters practiced Monday in the city's Pipeline Rapids. The last day of a three day swift water rescue class. They flipped over boats and then struggled to get back inside. Also practicing what it's like to pull a drowning person to safety. They swam against the current and took turns teaming up in boats, learning to paddle as a unit.

"If anyone one of these members started paddling at their own pace, paddling out of sync with everyone else that boat wouldn't be able to make it to its objective," said Dalrymple.

The objective usually is to get to a stranded person who's lost their boat or tube. But that's not the most common call for help.

"We see slips, trips, and falls almost every summer," said Lt. Stephen Forgette, Richmond Fire Department.

He recommends you wear a helmet and life vest at all times.

"We want the folks to come out to the river. We just want them to be safe," he said.

Richmond fire is learning how to keep you safe, but hoping you'll take more care on your next trip down the river.

"Moving water can be a very powerful force, a very dangerous force. If you disrespect it," Dalrymple said.

Right now the river is below five feet so you are not required by law to wear a life vest but firefighters say you should wear one anyway. They say it's the best way to be safe out here.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Redskins dominate Raiders in statement win

    Redskins dominate Raiders in statement win

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:26 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:26:44 GMT

    Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Thompson had 188 all-purpose yards and a score and the Washington Redskins sacked Derek Carr four times and held the Oakland Raiders to 128 yards in a dominating 27-10 victory on Sunday night. 

    More >>

    Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Thompson had 188 all-purpose yards and a score and the Washington Redskins sacked Derek Carr four times and held the Oakland Raiders to 128 yards in a dominating 27-10 victory on Sunday night. 

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: MARIA COMES CLOSER TO THE OUTER BANKS BY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: MARIA COMES CLOSER TO THE OUTER BANKS BY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:06 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:06:02 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • 1 person hurt, residents displaced after Henrico apartment fire

    1 person hurt, residents displaced after Henrico apartment fire

    Sunday, September 24 2017 3:17 PM EDT2017-09-24 19:17:05 GMT
    (Source: NBC12)(Source: NBC12)
    Crews are investigating, after a fire broke out at an apartment in Henrico. It happened in the 10 block of Chase Gayton Drive, around 1:23 p.m. Sunday. When crews got on scene, they say fire was coming from the top floor of a 3-story building. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put that fire out. Officials say one person was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, and the Red Cross is helping several occupants who were displaced by the fire. They sa...More >>
    Crews are investigating, after a fire broke out at an apartment in Henrico. It happened in the 10 block of Chase Gayton Drive, around 1:23 p.m. Sunday. When crews got on scene, they say fire was coming from the top floor of a 3-story building. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put that fire out. Officials say one person was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, and the Red Cross is helping several occupants who were displaced by the fire. They sa...More >>
Powered by Frankly