Golder Ranch Fire District prepares for monsoon with swift water rescue training

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 06, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Monsoon might just take place a few moths out of the year, but paramedic for Golder Ranch Fire Dominic Rhodes trains for swift water rescues all year long.

“It’s, you know, high stress situation. We make sure that everyone’s on the same page and communicating,” Rhodes said.

That communication with his own district and with Tucson and Northwest Fire Departments starts during training.

“We all just make sure that when we’re at those types of trainings, we’re all on the same page,” he said.

They train at the Salt River in the Phoenix area and they focus on filling up their boat in at timely manner.

“You have a rope system that goes along with it. We also have our swift water vests, our oars to help maneuver that, and just a variety of helmets and different throw bags in case we can just throw a rope line to somebody that’s stranded and have them hold onto it,” Rhodes explained.

However, if the county shuts down roads, that could make it more challenging for Rhodes and his crew to get to people they need to rescue.

“We like to prepare and make sure that we’re readily accessible on how to access those areas,” he said.

That means he has to check the water’s speed in the areas where the rescue is going to take place.

Even though the water might not be moving fast on top, it could be moving a lot faster underneath.

So Rhodes and his crew make sure they’re communicating with the people they’re rescuing.

“Just making sure that they understand what your actions are. It’s a lot of yelling out to them at first and making sure that they know not to jump at you,” Rhodes aid.

Focused and ready to go, Rhodes gets into the water and makes sure that his rescue is swift too.

“We all have the same goal in mind, which is to help the public and save whoever we need to,” he said.