COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Summer is upon us, and Columbus Fire and EMS says it’s time to brush up on water safety especially if you’re planning to spend time near the Chattahoochee River.
Division Chief of Columbus Fire John Shull said fire and rescue crews are practicing their swift water rescue skills this week.
The drills ensure first responders are prepared for the worst as every summer they see people underestimate the danger of the river’s waters.
“I’ve taken my kids down here and they tell me “oh it doesn’t look that bad” and it doesn’t,” said Chief Shull. “Ya know just looking at the water, I mean you can see that it’s moving at a pretty good rate, but the undertow of the Chattahoochee River is what’s so dangerous about it.”
Chief Shull said it’s important to wear a life jacket and proper flotation devices–and reminds swimmers to remember that no area of the Chattahoochee is 100-percent safe.
“Our firefighters that are training here today, ya know they have the right protective equipment to protect them and maintain buoyancy while their in the river,” said Chief Shull. “But somebody that comes down here, doesn’t have a life jacket on, doesn’t have the proper equipment on, they’re not going to be prepared for the dangers of this water.”
Chief Shull says last summer Fire and EMS performed 10 water rescues.