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Lawton Firefighters Hold Training at Local Water Park

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LAWTON, Okla._ Lawton Firefighters took over the Comanche Nation Water Park Sunday for some additional training and practice.

Drivers, firefighters, and officers all took to the water to refresh their skills on swift water recoveries. Sunday's training provided a unique opportunity for the firefighters to practice their water recovery maneuvers in a real-life setting.

With the summer's hot temperatures, people are flocking to the water. Local pools, lakes, water parks, and rivers are hot spots for people throughout the summer. And that's why Lawton Firefighters spent Sunday practicing for when tragedy strikes.

"Maybe they hit their head or their neck on the diving board or the edge. We can get them up, out of the water, onto the backboard, and safely out without doing more damage to them," said Lawton Firefighter Josh Hall.

For Hall, Sunday's training gave firefighters a snapshot of what they would actually experience when performing a water rescue.

"Most of the water rescue that we would be doing around here would be swift water. So he will be going in ahead of the victim, trying to cut him off, and then we can pull him back to us," said Hall.

And that is what firefighters practiced Sunday at the water park. Ways to save lives using multiple recovery maneuvers.

"We were practicing the maneuver where a single rescuer goes out with a carabineer and a rope tied to him. That way we can get the rescuer back if need be. He is going to exhaust a lot of strength just getting to the guy. He can just hold onto him, and we can bring them back to us," said Hall.  

This is just one of training exercises from Sunday. Overall, the training provided an opportunity for firefighters to get into the water and practice in a setting similar to one they would face in an emergency, something they aren't able to do everyday.

"This is great for us. It has been years since we have been able to actually get in the water and use this stuff," said Hall.

Most of the specialized equipment used in Sunday's training is only carried on 3 of the Lawton Fire Department's trucks. So Sunday also provided the unique opportunity for firefighters from all stations to go through the swift water training.

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