Tulsa Fire Department reveals their water rescue technology


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Updated: 12/29/2013 9:32 am Published: 12/28/2013 6:02 pm


Firefighters are known for putting out fires and helping at car accidents, but they also are called for water rescues.

FOX23 went to Fire Station 4, which is the only station in Tulsa equipped to help with water rescues.

"We have a lot more toys to play with and are a lot more trained," said Capt. Jerry Benefield.

The team showed FOX23 the special boats they use during water rescues.

The banana boat is inflated and typically used in ice rescues.

"What makes this boat unique is we can pull a patient out of the water onto a back board," said rescue technician Craig Coats.

The other boats have motors on them; the smaller boat can be easier for the firefighters to handle if they are in rough terrain.

Along with the boats, the team also has their own gear.

Dry suits are used when someone has to enter the water to rescue someone.

"They protect you from the water itself, they keep you from getting wet and that's about all they do," said Benefield.

The suit seals off and takes about a minute to put on.

"This is the only thing that you can wear when you get in the water and have any chance of surviving," said Coats.

The main thing they want people to know is leave the water rescues to them; if someone falls in don't go in after them, instead call 911 immediately.

Benefield said going after someone can create more problems.

"Nine times out of 10 when you try to become the rescuer, you become the victim just like this."

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