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Falls Park Memorial Service For Drowning Victims, Rescue Crews

March 14, 2014, 4:37 PM by Jared Ransom

Falls Park Memorial Service For Drowning Victims, Rescue Crews
Falls Park | March 2013


One year ago, two people lost their lives at Falls Park in Sioux Falls trying to save a six-year-old boy.   Friday evening, they will be remembered as heroes.

Lyle Eagle Tail, 28, and 16-year-old Madison Wallace sacrificed their lives getting six-year-old Garrett Wallace out of the Big Sioux River. 

Eagle Tail and Madison Wallace ended up trapped underneath the ice and were not able to be rescued. 

Crews spent hours in the cold waters.  Heavy equipment had to be brought in to help move large ice chunks from the river.  Jeff Helm with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was part of that rescue operation and he says crews train for situations just like this, but there is always something new they learn.

"Any time in an emergency event, this one included, we learn from that. We train from that. There's always improvements that you can make, simple things. The Parks Department and the city and the community got together after this event and said, 'What can we do to ensure that in the future, this would be mitigated?'" Helm said.

The city added more signs around the Falls so people are aware of the dangers.  Anchors were added for rescue crews to use during rescue efforts.  

A memorial service is being held to remember Eagle Tail and Wallace and to honor the crews that helped Friday at Falls Park at 5:30 p.m.

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