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Carmel firefighters practice water rescues

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – The Carmel Fire Department is training for all the things that can go wrong on the water. They’re brushing up on their water rescue safety skills to help keep people safe this summer.

Boating accidents aren’t the only reason firefighters may use this training to come to your rescue.

“We also have a lot of retention ponds, and so people can get into those,” said Tim Griffin with the Carmel Fire Department.

“They can play in them or, like earlier in the spring when we had all of that water, we can have a lot of situations where we have a heavy rain come in and create flash flooding through a small creek and kids will be in there playing and the next thing you know it’s become an emergency situation.”

Firefighters spent time Tuesday at the Hamilton County Training Center reviewing how to operate a boat, how to get on and off it safely, how to save people who fall off boat and could be injured, all while protecting themselves.

The department also uses a drone in cases where they need to drop a life-saving device to someone in distress.

“Whether it’s a pond, whether it’s a river, we can get it up into the air really fast. It moves 50 miles an hour. We can check for patients, look for them, hopefully locate them faster than we would be able to locate them in the boat and then we can tell the crews where to go,” Griffin said.

Firefighters say it’s important for people in distress on the water to stay calm before help arrives.

“If you’re going to be out fishing on the river or if you’re going to be on a pond, make sure you know where you’re at,” said Griffin. “You tell somebody that you’re going and so they know you’re there. The other thing, never mix alcohol. Water and alcohol, they don’t mix, so make sure you haven’t mixed alcohol.”

The Carmel Fire Department plans to do ice water rescue training in the winter.