Local fire departments release latest swift water rescue numbers

Swift Water Rescue
Posted at 9:34 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-21 01:38:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Fire, Golder Ranch, and Northwest Fire have released the latest swift-water rescue numbers.

The data collected is from July 1 to August 16. According to the fire departments, crews were dispatched to 98 swift-water rescue calls. That made up for 276 unit hours which is equivalent to 11.5 days.

Josh Zent with the Northwest Fire Department says the weather is to blame. “There is definitely an uptick as compared to last year. We’ve had a lot more seasonal weather, a lot more monsoon activity coming in, creating more water on the roadways which unfortunately has turned into a few more swift-water rescues this year."

According to the latest numbers from KGUN 9 Meteorologist Cuyler Diggs, this monsoon has brought 11.86 inches of rain, making it the third wettest year Tucson has ever seen. When you compare the numbers to last year, Tucson only saw 1.62 inches of rain. "This year we really need the public's help. These are high risk events and they are highly preventable. We need the communities help in preventing those things."

Zent lists a number of ways to prevent swift-water rescues from happening. He says, "if you see water in the roadway, don’t cross it. If there's a barricade, don’t go around it. If you see someone entering the water, don’t follow them.”

With monsoon still in effect, use those tips to keep you and your family safe when mother nature strikes.