Danville Fire Department Trains In Dan River

Danville, VA -- There have been lots of rescues on our area rivers this summer.

In Danville the Fire Department has already had three river rescues just this month alone! Normally they only have one to two a year. So they say right now it's crucial they are prepared in case number four gets called in.

Between the heat and how high the river is, it can be dangerous even just to train. But when the river is this high, the crews have more rescues, so right now is the best time to hit the water and get prepared.

This is something Danville firefighters never hope to use.
"It's very important being that we've got a major river that flows right through the city," said Captain Jeff Guill, Danville Fire Department.
Just this month, the fire department had three times the amount of river rescues they normally have all year. So, this swift water rescue training is just that much more important.
"It's a lot of good experience today," said Guill.
Guill and his Technical Rescue Team practiced several different types of rescues. From saving a victims by throwing them a line to jumping in after them.
"We are doing what they call live bait rescues. We will put a rescue in the water and they will act like the victim and the person will jump in and swim and catch them," said Guill.
At times, they even pulled out their boat. This team trains in the river at least once a year. But with all of the recent rain, the water now sits about two feet higher than normal and they say that's why they've had more emergencies recently.
"People get in the water and seconds and minutes count. So we have to get there quick, get our stuff in and get in the water," said Battalion Chief Mike Jefferson, Danville Fire Department.
So they have tips so you don't become the Dan River's next victim.
"If they are in a boat, they need to have a life jacket on. They need a properly fitted life jacket," said Jefferson.
And during a flood, never drive through standing water. They hope that advice keeps you safe but say if an emergency happens, they're ready.
Last year they had to cancel water training because the water was too shallow. But this year, they won't have that problem and will be able to get all 27 of the Technical Rescue Team out to train.