Fire School On Water

1 decade 2 years 3 months ago Thursday, June 07 2007 Jun 7, 2007 Thursday, June 07, 2007 5:57:56 PM CDT June 07, 2007 in News

The University of Missouri's Summer Fire School taught about water rescue techniques, including boat flipping practice and water rescues.

Morris Duffy, of Overland Park, Kansas, was a participant in the Fire School.

"Growing up on the water, I enjoy the water, so it was only right for me to be doing some sort of technical rescue in relation to the water," Duffy said.

He said he'll take all the practice he can get, since water levels back home are low.

"For us to get in there and do any training is non-existent," Duffy said.

The Missouri River has room for lots of boats to be on the water at one time. It also has a strong current so it offers a unique area for training.

To pass the course, firefighters learn a number of techniques, including holding a boat in place with a swift current. One of many skills that instructors drill home is the message, "This is dangerous."

"It looks like a benign environment, very safe, the river out here looks fairly flat and moving, but it's inherently dangerous and if you don't have the physical skills and the knowledge to make proper decisions you should not be on the water," Jim Lavalley, training director for the school, said.

"Water rescue kills more firefighters than any other thing just because they don't happen that often," Duffy said.

The lessons will help each fire fighter know what to do in an unusual rescue situation, and help them improvise and make quick decisions safely.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of MU Fire and Rescue Training. There will be a parade Friday morning at 10 a.m. to celebrate. It will start at Jackson and High Street and end at Capitol Plaza.

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