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Fire Department Trains for River Rescues


Tuesday, if you were driving along the freeway north of Yakima you would have seen fire trucks.

Our news partner KNDO followed fire crews who were on the Yakima River training for water rescues.

The Yakima Fire Department participated in one of three swift water rescue refresher courses.

This is an effort to make sure firefighters are ready at all times to get people out of the river who might be stuck.

Fire crews are anticipating a hot and dry summer, which will increase people going into the river to cool off.

One firefighter says people do not know what to expect when going into the water.

“People underestimate how swift the river is and they try to swim across and they get into trouble, they get their feet caught on a boulder, or cramp and go underwater,” said Firefighter, Brent Bauer.

The Yakima Fire and Sheriff’s Departments recommend not swimming in local rivers because of the cold temperatures of the water, swift currents and under water debris.

According to fire crews, so far there have been three rescues in the Yakima River since May, and last year there were about 15 rescues.

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