Officers conduct water rescue training - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officers conduct water rescue training

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - When fast-rising flood waters catch people off guard, rescue crews are often pressed into action. Getting to victims quickly and knowing what to do is critical, so is having the right equipment and knowing how to use it.

A trail in the woods leads to Cherokee Lake where rescue crews train to save peoples' lives. 

Lisa Maxwell with the Thomasville Police Department said the exercise is designed to save people from drowning. It's also a swift water rescue to train crews to rescue people during a strong storm.

"That's when we learn a lot. We go out there and try someone one time," Maxwell said. "It might not work that time in that situation so we'll try something different."

Officers said it's important when people are struggling in the water to keep their head facing  downstream, and the front of the boat should always face upstream, and parallel to land.

Maxwell remembers a rescue last August when Tropical storm Fay flooded Barnett Creek, causing it to spill over into the road making it dangerous for drivers.

" Water was flowing at a really high rate of speed. At that time we weren't trained so we had to call in other help,' Maxwell said. "If we would have had the right training and equipment we could have easily handled the situation now. "

Crews rescued all five victims that day in August. Now Police have new life vests, helmets, boogie boards, and boats to aid in future rescues.

"We've got all the equipment here," Maxwell noted.  We'll be trained, and we'll keep our skills up so that when we have an incident like this, hopefully we can get them out and rescued in probably 30 to 40 minutes easily."

It's all part of a bigger mission keep people safe in dangerous waters. The water rescue division of the Thomasville Police Department conducted three water rescues last year and crews said they're ready for more rescues to come.


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