Columbus Fire & EMS host multi-agency simulation water rescue exercise

(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Spring is here and summer is on its way. In efforts to keep people safe while enjoying the Chattahoochee River, five agencies are preparing for a swift water rescue exercise.

The exercise is in hopes to be better prepared for any type of emergency.

WHINSEC, Columbus Fire and EMS, Columbus State University, the 4th Ranger Battalion, and White Water Express are all a part of this year's exercise.

A total of 17 people pretending to be injured and stranded were in Thursday's simulation along with one mannequin that was picked up by the Medivac Blackhawk Helicopter.

Will Chambliss of Whitewater Express says Wednesday was the start of the rescue exercise.

"We took some CSU students down the rapids showed them and taught them how to read the water, showing them eddy lines and also, of course, having a little bit of fun," says Chambliss.

This is the fifth year the swift water rescue exercise has taken place on the Chattahoochee River.

Several resources like drones were also used for Thursday's rescue exercise.

Rylie Land of the Columbus Emergency Managment Agency says Columbus Fire and EMS is beginning to develop a protocol to see how fast they can put drones into service to locate victims.

"Whether it's daytime, nighttime, in the river, in the woods, it can even be in an urban environment but we're in the testing phase and learning phase, recording the material and going back and looking at it seeing what works best for us," says Land.

Thursday's swift water rescue exercise started at 10 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m.

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