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Rescue teams undergo swiftwater training on Ogden River

Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 17, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — During the recent spring flooding, there has been a lot of discussing regarding the Weber and Ogden rivers, both of which have set records this season.

The Ogden City Fire Department conducted swiftwater rescue training Monday to be ready for whatever concern is thrown their way. It's dangerous work that needs a lot of preparation, and even the preparation puts them in harms way.

The rescue veterans know the risks as anyone caught in the flow could get pushed against the trunks and branches of trees in the water, breaking bones or hold them under the water. So the best rescue is the one that never has to happen.

"Just stay back, it's the biggest thing you can do," said Ogden Fire Capt. Kevin Waller.

The high water adds to the danger and to the draw as some see it as a challenge.

"We have people recreating in the water, kayakers are enjoying this high water flow," said Waller.

While others are just curious.

"It's seen on the news, the water is flowing and they come to just check it out," added Waller.

The training takes place over three days to make sure all shifts are covered. That's three days of braving swift moving ice cold water.

Waller reminds everyone to remember that in a water year like this one, the river banks get waterlogged and can give way if anyone stands too close.