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Swift Water Rescue Team Ready for More Rain

6:09 PM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. - With all this rain we have already received, a special division of the Greensboro Fire Department is getting ready to respond.

They're called the Swift Water Rescue Team. It's an elite group of firefighters trained to rescue people from dangerous water situations.

Six inches of water is all it takes to stall your car and possibly make you lose control. One foot can float your car. That's why the Swift Water Rescue team says, if you see water on the road, don't try to drive through it.

"It might look like a small stream or just a little water flowing over the road, but you don't understand how deep it is. The deeper it is, the faster it moves and the more force it has. That's where we see people getting into trouble," Swift Water Rescue Team member Matthew Smith said.

Another team member, Micah Christman, said, "People don't understand what they might be getting into. Obviously, you can't see what's underneath the water."

There are about forty members on the crew. Team members wear special dry suits that protect them from the water and any chemicals. Under the water, there can be debris or even open sewer covers. So, the crew always has to be careful. Water can be a lot stronger than you might realize.

"If you can imagine thousands of gallons of water pushing against everything you're trying to do," Smith said.

So far, the Swift Water Rescue Team has only had to respond to a handful of problems. However, they are watching the weather closely so they are ready to respond as soon as they are need.

The usually stays in the Greensboro or North Carolina area, but crew members recently left the state to help with Hurricane Sandy.

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