Several Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department Special Operations personnel recently attended a Swiftwater Rescue course at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Captain/Shift Inspectors Randy Rae and Clay Walls, Captain Gary Hutchinson, Drivers Adam Petrig, Chris Ayers, and Doug Inglish, and Firefighters Joe Pennington, Mark Brewer, Greg Burt, and Greg Robinson travelled to the USNWC earlier this week to participate in the facility's Swiftwater Rescue Course. The course follows the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 1670 and 1006 guidelines and exceeds them by introducing other aspects of water rescue.
Course instructors were Aaron Peeler, Josh Keener, and Pete Osken.
On Monday, students trained on various swimming techniques, utilized throw bags, completed tethered and non-tethered rescues, and practiced freeing foot entrapments. On Tuesday, they completed a full eight hours of paddle boat operations which included: advanced paddle raft maneuvering, recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, dealing with hydraulics, eddy hopping, ferrying, and raft recovery upon flipping.
"The facility has the ability to change the river to simulate diverse hazards and hydraulics," said Adam Petrig. "This capability allowed us to practice several scenarios that we might encounter."
The U.S. National Whitewater Center offers professional courses which are designed to prepare fire departments, government agencies, military personnel, and first responders seeking certification and training.