SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Emergency crews are typically the first ones on scene during an unexpected situation – making it important that those responding are prepared.
On Tuesday local first responders learned just what it takes to respond to a vehicle submerged in water.
“Simulating a car coming off the roadway into any of the various waterways into the city, simulating that there may or may not be a person trapped in the vehicle, then the rescuers job is to go in and search the vehicle and rescue those folks that are in there,” SFFR battalion chief, David Jensen said.
The training is being done at the diversion dam just north of the airport. By doing the drill here, crews can learn a lot.
“One thing we are looking for is what the vehicle is going to do at different flows, this is a really unique site here because we have gates that we can open and close and change the flows at any time, so gradually bump up the flows and see what that vehicle is going to do,” firefighter with SFFR, Luke Langenfeld said.
It’s training that they want to be as realistic as possible, but also environmentally safe.
“Environmentally we’ve gone through the vehicle and removed the engine, transmission, removed all the environmental hazards out of the vehicle, we’ve replaced them with simulated, so we’ve made concrete props to simulate those portions of the vehicle, so it still replicates what an actual vehicle would do in the water,” Jensen said.
“These training opportunities give us time to get together and see the capabilities of everybody, and then when we actually get on scene together on something that is real, we are all on the same page,” Langenfeld said.
Several agencies collaborated with today’s training including Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, Sioux Falls Police, Rapid City Fire Department, and the City of Sioux Falls.