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Course Outline

  • During boat operations in urban areas:
    • Be aware that hazards exist above (low-hanging electrical lines) and below (mailboxes, fences, gas and parking meters, etc.) the boat.
    • Ensure that utilities are secured in the area of engagement prior to in-water rescue activities.
  • Use a pole or staff to probe ahead when wading in non-moving floodwaters to make sure there are no open manholes or other traps.
  • Never underestimate the power of moving water.
    • Only 18 to 24 inches will lift and move a vehicle.
    • Underwater currents can be very deceiving, especially if debris is in the water or visibility is poor.
  • Do not drive or allow anyone else to drive across a flooded roadway. During floods, the #1 reason for fatalities is driving across a flooded roadway.
  • Prepare for night operations. Floods do not care about what time of day it is.
    • Use reflective tape on helmets.
    • Issue light sticks and portable lights with extra batteries to all personnel.
  • Maintain radio contact with all personnel. Maintain par levels so that you always are able to meet all demands.
  • Handle victims properly.
    • Always place rescued victims in a proper PFD (life jacket) prior to moving them.
    • Consider sheltering them in place and then establishing safe havens only after consulting the forecast and your rescue capabilities.
  • Mark buildings and vehicles that have been searched for victims. Using a marking system that indicates they were already searched eliminates the potential for a second team wasting valuable time during a disaster response.
Flooded river
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