Wichita firefighters use high water to train

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WICHITA, Kansas – When it comes to water rescue, the threat of potential danger has increased especially over the last few days.

“They made calls yesterday, and I expect them tonight,” said Paul Gonzalez, Wichita rescue team.

It only takes a second for something to go wrong. Preparing for the worst, the rising Arkansas River has become a much-needed training ground for the Wichita Fire Department.

“With the drought the last couple of years, we haven’t really got to use those skills,” said Battalion Chief John Turner.

“You could’ve walked across this river two months ago, now that we got a real current, we can actually get on and train on it,” said Gonzalez.

The training gives rescue team members a chance to see the water from a victims view-point, and crews a chance to brush up of their skills.

“We try different rope scenarios. The one that’s going on now is what we call a throw back were throwing the bags to the victim, and we have some that we can deploy off of the bridge as well,” said Turner.

Officials say people kayaking on the river should be cautious because the currents are extremely dangerous and stronger than people think.

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