AUSTIN (KXAN) — In 2021, the Austin Fire Department was involved in 50 water rescues.
Firefighters know every second matters when they get a call, especially when water is rising and someone is trapped.
AFD spent Tuesday going over ladder rescues, where the fire truck’s ladder is extended out more than 100 feet to any vehicles or person who might be trapped.
“So now the firefighter is getting out of the way so we can perform the lift and perform the rescue,” said Josh Anderson, an AFD battalion chief.
This training was performed in an open parking lot, with the parking spaces serving as rushing water. This is just one of the many pieces of training firefighters do over the course of a year.
“If there is a call for someone trapped, the Austin Fire Department will be one of the lead rescue agencies,” Anderson said.
Severe weather can turn roads into impassable rivers, but that doesn’t always stop people from trying to cross. With many low water crossings and creeks and rivers around Central Texas, that means first responders can get busy.
So far in 2022, there have been 10 water rescues. Flash flooding is a major concern as severe storms are possible this time of year.
“Turn around,” Anderson said, “when you see water over a roadway stop.”
It is a simple action that can save your life.
AFD said places like Onion Creek, Shoal Creek and Little Webberville Park are all places where they have done a number of rescues.