DEXTER, N.Y. (WWNY) - Did you know New York state has a Flood Incident Strike Team? Team members maneuver and help rescue people in dangerous water. On Thursday, they trained in the north country.
State troopers came from all over New York for a course in swift water rescue training. Where could be better than the Black River? Thursday kicked off the second day of a three-day-long training process with the help and coordination of the New York State Office of Fire and Prevention Control.
“This morning what we did was just some general boat operation and boat handling skills. Then it has progressed as the day has gone along. We have done some serpentine drills and some man overboard drills,” said Trooper Neil Case of the New York State Police.
The serpentine drill is a high-speed path of twists and turns.
“The most important part there is having a general understanding of how the boat handles at high speeds and being able to make abrupt turns in the event that we’re on open water and we have to make a quick turn or maneuver around a hazard. That’s really what we’re focusing on,” said Case.
Then there’s the man overboard training.
“In the event that someone does fall out of the boat, that operator and your bowman really have to be on their game and have to do everything they can to avoid hitting the person that has fallen out of that boat, and the next process is recovering the victim from the water,” said Case.
Trooper Seth Little has been on the force for 9 years and says when it comes to water, anything can happen.
“There’s nothing that changes quicker than water and so it’s very important to learn everything that they teach us, to absorb it, and basically practice it out there on the water,” he said.
Trooper Case says this practice is more important now than ever.
“We’ve had an increase in hurricanes and flood incidents throughout the state in the past few years here. So for us to get out there ahead of time, make sure we have all of our gear prepped and ready to go in the event that we have serious flooding, we’re prepared,” he said.
There will be one more day of training Friday as the troopers complete more drills in rougher water conditions.