Calif. Water-Rescue Team Deploys to Help in Hurricane Harvey Rescue Efforts

Calif. Water-Rescue Team Deploys to Help in Hurricane Harvey Rescue Efforts

News Sep 01, 2017

Sept. 01—A water-rescue team of Ventura County firefighters was sent to Houston to assist the Hurricane Harvey rescue effort, officials said Thursday.

Fourteen firefighters—13 men and one woman—hit the road for Texas about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after the Federal Emergency Management Agency contacted the California Office of Emergency Services to see if any of the state's sanctioned water-rescue teams could respond, according to Steve Swindle, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman.

Dozens of people have died and thousands more have been rescued from floods after Hurricane Harvey pounded the Texas Gulf coast with record amounts of rain.

There are 12 water-rescue teams in California and two of them, including a portion of the team from the Ventura County Fire Department, were chosen to respond, Swindle said. He called the deployment an honor.

"We are here to help the citizens of Texas, as well," Swindle said of the team.

The other team chosen is from the Long Beach Fire Department, Swindle said.

The Ventura County agency was able to send 14 members of its 30-person team, Swindle said. They represent a mixture of ranks, including battalion chiefs, captains, fire engineers and firefighters, Swindle said. Two of the people responding are also paramedics, he said.

Although the team is employed by the Ventura County Fire Department, the state water-rescue team operates on a voluntary basis and involves "stringent" training on the state level, Swindle said.

Requirements include being a strong swimmer and passing related tests as well as being in top physical condition, he said.

There are also equipment requirements for the team, and the department has been able to acquire much of that through FEMA grants, Swindle said.

Continue Reading

Two large trailers full of rescue equipment and three inflatable rubber boats with motors were being hauled to Texas along with the team, Swindle said.

Several of the people on the team were also sent to help with the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort 12 years ago, Swindle said.

"We wish them all the best," Swindle said.

Ventura County Star, Calif.
EmergyCare is taking applications to provide two women with scholarships to pay for EMT school and textbooks along with jobs upon completion of their training.
Manatee County emergency management officials are asking 100 plus businesses to register their AEDs on the PulsePoint app so users know if there are cardiac arrest victims nearby who need aid.
Baltimore City Council has fielded complaints about 9-1-1 callers being on hold during serious emergencies caused by understaffed dispatch centers and too many non-emergency calls.
The small, military-grade sensor device detects gunshot sounds and sends alerts to police to save more lives in active shooter scenarios.
According to the American Heart Association's newest guidelines, almost half of Americans have high blood pressure.
House Speaker Beth Harwell mandated her staff to attend both active shooter survival and sexual harassment response training.
A Pafford EMS medical helicopter crashed on Sunday night, killing all three crew members on board.
Effingham County Dive Rescue Team consists of difficult but rewarding work, like rescue missions and solving crimes with police.
The 6,700-square foot center features a dispatch center, a large main room for disaster response meetings, and a media room for relaying information during emergencies.
Owensboro Fire Department employees who recently received ALS training from Air Evac Lifeteam have had 83% resuscitation success rates in comparison to the national average of 11%.
While provider safety remains a high priority in EMS education, the topic of patient safety has fallen to the wayside.
Dispatch operators in Flagler, Florida often quit within their first twelve months of work due to the high stress of the job and average starting salary of $22,000.
Government representatives are considering new legislation and higher taxes to help support agencies that are losing volunteers.
Several cities and counties are planning to sue for the excessive costs of handling the opioid epidemic, especially for medical services, fire departments, and law enforcement.
Mothers can anonymously drop off their infants in the baby box at fire departments, which sets off a silent alarm alerting EMS personnel that it's in use.