Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…a fire fighter!?

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CAP Swift Water Rescue

Valley superheroes, also known as fire fighters, recently hit the air and water to complete their annual swift water rescue training in the CAP canal.

CAP’s entire system is fenced to protect the infrastructure and the public’s safety – the water is moving more quickly than it looks and can be deadly if someone falls in. But for first responders, it’s the perfect practice ground; the water is dynamic enough to be challenging for the rescue teams, but predictable enough for crews to train without risking their lives. This allows them to prepare for monsoons and other storm events that can create sudden flash floods and life-threatening emergencies that require them to perform seemingly impossible rescues.

These first responders don personal protective equipment (PPE) and save a “victim” from the water, practicing their rescue swimming skills in the swiftly moving water, performing throw bag operations, executing boating operations and working with a hovering helicopter.

Phoenix Fire Department Truck
Swift Water Rescue CAP
CAP Swift Water Rescue Helicopter

Darin Perkins, CAP’s Safety Manager, said the partnership is a reflection of CAP’s commitment to safety. 

“Just as various forms of training are important to the safe and successful execution of work by CAP employees, swift water rescue training is important to emergency services providers,” Perkins said.  “Living in a desert, there isn’t much by way of naturally-occurring, moving water, so providing them access to the canal for training purposes helps ensure they have the needed experience to properly respond if and when the real emergencies occur.”