Carmel firefighters prepare for water rescues during wettest June in 10 years

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. -- All the rain we are getting is causing first responders to get calls for more water rescues than normal.

Since May 1, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said it's been on 60 calls across the state.

To prepare for those types of calls, the Carmel Fire Department was out on the water Wednesday for their water rescue training.

They go through this training every year. It became very important this season because this June in Indianapolis is the wettest in 10 years.

Battalion Chief Gary Brandt led Carmel firefighters through a training exercise at the Hamilton County Training Center. Only FOX59 was invited to go along.

They went through several different scenarios, including a flipped rescue boat and a person who needed to be pulled out of the water. One thing they see frequently is people out on the water without life vests. That's why Carmel firefighters now use drones to quickly drop one to them in a rescue.

"We have a lot of problems getting boats into a body of water because of access, especially the river," said Battalion Chief Brandt.

The drones also help them quickly determine if there are victims in the water.

Firefighters focus on bodies of water like quarries, but they also see calls on the White River and small creeks in neighborhoods. Those are a big problem too.

"When these flash floods are coming in, there is water strong enough to move a car, and so people can get trapped in those," said Griffin.

Just a few days ago, Griffin said they found five cars stuck in high water. DNR said 24 out of their 60 calls since May 1 were for vehicles stuck in water.

Firefighters are worried about creeks and ditches because they tend to be places kids like to play. They fear strong water can sweep the younger ones away.

So far this season, the Carmel Fire Department has not responded to rescues at rivers. Battalion Chief Brandt said people get into trouble at the White River because they are beginners in a kayak or canoe.

Only part of the group was out training on Wednesday. The entire fire department will go through it in July.

Latest News

More News