COPY-Water rescue training for first responders - WDRB 41 Louisville News

COPY-Water rescue training for first responders

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A class of 30 students and their instructors worked on emergency boat water rescue Friday morning near Jeffersonville.  A Homeland Security grant paid for seven weeks of classes for first responders.

Felix Hensley, a retired Indiana Conservation Officer, explains, "With this training you can put those crews on the same boat without any introductions and they know what they're doing -- not just important for these guys to work together on events like Thunder over Louisville coming up, but they can do this nationwide now."

Instructor Tom Guthlein says, "Locally they may get calls from boats that are taking on water which they have learned how to pull up alongside and take people off the boats. They would also get calls for people in the water which they've learned how to recover people from the water at the same time."

Six different departments worked on navigating rescue boats, recovering someone from the water and towing other boats. Local police and fire departments are learning how to work together on the water whether it's on the lake, river, or ocean.

Once completed, trained responders will have the same standardized training to deal with emergencies and disasters locally and nationally. This type of training is recognized by FEMA.

Eric Hedrick, the Jeffersonville Fire Chief says, "With Thunder happening next Saturday, we'll be out on the water. These guys will be trained up and ready to go. This will be our first test in having a large amount of folks on the water."

Hensley says, "On a beautiful day, when the water is very calm, that's not the day that these guys are going to have to respond. It's going to be on a day like this where a recreational boat is in distress and may not be equipped to handle water conditions like this. That's what these guys are training for."

The training will continue through mid-July.

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