Firefighters Learn to Save Lives on Water
An international expert in water rescue came to Jefferson City to show them how to save lives, not with water, but on water.
Jim Lavalley has been saving lives on the water for 30 years, and he's seen a new kind of rescuer dive in.
"As there are fewer and fewer fires with fire management happening, the fire service has sort of been asked to take on these initial rescue responses, because they can respond," he said. "We have the Missouri River running right through our front yard."
Firefighters dove in at the chance to learn water safety techniques.
"We need to start setting it up today for those events that may happen down the road when it comes to people using this river for recreation as well as commercial," said Casey Hughes of the Jefferson City Fire Department.
Firefighters learned how to save people who fall overboard or who capsize boats. Levalley hopes firefighters learned how to save their own lives.
"Next to confined space, more firefighters are dying in water response than anything else," he said.
The boat rescue class runs through this Saturday. The University of Missouri-Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute will offer about 50 classes this summer, including basic firefighting skills, fire inspections and large animal rescues.