Lincoln Fire & Rescue Crews Swing into Action, Practice Water Rescues

LINCOLN, Neb.-- A little muscle, and the courage to get the job done, motivates rescuers like Brett Crotty.

That motivation helped Crotty and about 10 other Lincoln Fire and Rescue workers practice life-saving water rescue techniques in a controlled environment Wednesday.

"A lot of it is situation play," Crotty said.

"What could happen, what might happen? How we could fix anything that could go wrong?"

LFR said water rescues are very rare in the Lincoln area, but, they said it's still important to practice and be ready in case it ever does happen.

Though facing calm waters today, crews admit that high-line practice doesn't prepare them for everything.

"Anytime someone is trapped in flood waters," Jeremy Gegg, a LFR battalion chief said, "there's a good chance that their initial location is not going to be where they end up.

"If they're in a vehicle, the vehicle could certainly end up being moved by the flood waters."

And some LFR members know these dangers better than others. Gegg said some of their search and rescue teams utilized these water rescue techniques in Colorado last September, when dangerous flood waters tore through homes.

The floods killed eight people.

But, crews said they know there's a big difference between practice and being able to handle the nerves when a life needs saving.

"There's definitely more adrenaline," Crotty said.

"Just trying to stay calm and remember everything we're going through here, when we get out there."


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