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Swiftwater rescue training held by RCFD

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 5:58 PM MDT|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 5:59 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Jumping in a lake or stream can be a fun summer activity, but sometimes it may be more dangerous than you realize.

The Rapid City Fire Department held their Swiftwater Rescue Training Thursday near Rapid Creek. Fire crews used skilled techniques to prepare for rescuing people who find themselves trapped in fast-moving water.

Captain Keith Trojanowski said that it can be difficult for people to tell if a lake or stream is safe enough to get in.

“Being able to understand what part of the river you’re in, the hydraulics that is being presented, and what might be underneath is really what causes the danger,” Trojanowski said. “So, if you get your foot caught by a rock or a piece of metal, and the current pushes you over, it can be very difficult to free yourself.”

The water rescue team is funded in part by a fundraiser created by the family of Joshua R. Haugen, who was killed in 1999 by a Jet Ski accident at Pactola Reservoir.

Cori Ewing is Joshua’s sister and said that she hopes that education about the dangers of Swiftwater can be expanded.

“We want people to know how dangerous it can be and increasing the community awareness of how important water safety is,” Ewing said. “A lot of tragedy happens because people aren’t paying attention and may not have the knowledge that they need to be safe on the water.”

A fundraiser for the memorial will take place on June 5th.

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