Water Rescue And Firefighter Self-Survival Training

By: Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Battalion 401, B-Shift

Recently, several units from Battalion One, B-Shift, participated in water related training at the Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Herndon. Personnel completed various activities geared towards self-survival and victim water rescue.

All personnel swam two laps of the pool giving unit officers the ability to evaluate the swimming skills of each member. Each unit officer will now know who their strong swimmers are and who to place in the water for victim rescue. This is valuable information to have ahead of being called to a water related emergency.

Personnel then participated in backboard training to reinforce placing an injured swimmer on the board while in the water. It is a critical skill set when treating a patient who has a suspected spinal injury from a pool mishap.

Finally, the firefighters and paramedics donned structural firefighting gear and walked off the pools edge into the water. Why did they do this? It was so they could feel the impact of falling into water while wearing the protective clothing. Firefighters conduct a variety of tasks inside and outside a home or building while operating at a fire and many dwellings have swimming pools. A firefighter falling into the water with gear on poses a significant safety concern due to the added weight of the water and the gear which tends to pull firefighters under the water.

This self-rescue training was conducted to provide firefighters with techniques on how to react and exit a pool should they face this situation while operating on an incident scene.

Thank you Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club for hosting this important training!

Water Rescue Training