Grand Junction Fire Department training for river rescue scenarios

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Grand Junction Fire Department is ready to rescue. Crew members are training this month for river rescues, which are most common in January.

The fire department performs 5-10 rescue missions in an average year. Every crew member goes through an extensive training session, each of which is designed to simulate a rescue mission.

On Sunday morning, the Grand Junction Fire Department’s “A” shift held their river rescue training at the Butterfly Pond in Las Colonias Park.

“We’re in the primetime season for this, all the ice shelves are growing” explains Derek Sjolund, a Captain with the GJFD. “That’s why we train for this, so we are comfortable when it happens.”

The fire department asks people not to try and retrieve someone who has fallen through the ice. A common problem occurs when dog owners try to rescue a pet who has fallen in, only to get stuck in the water themselves.

“Call us and we’ll come out to retrieve them, so there aren’t two people we have to rescue,” Sjolund says.

This was the fire department’s second training session so far in 2021.

Each crew is required to train for river rescues, usually in teams of two crew members. The Grand Junction Fire Department’s entire “A” shift has now performed at least one simulated river rescue this winter. The B and C shifts will go through the same process over the next few weeks.

Copyright 2021 KKCO. All rights reserved.



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