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Humboldt Bay Fire conducting Water Rescue Team training this week

EUREKA- Three years ago, Humboldt Bay Fire created its own Water Rescue Team.  Officials say that program has been expanding ever since, and this week marks the latest round of Water Rescue Training. 

Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team members have already gone through 40 hours of training and even more hours of conditioning since the department increased their Water Rescue standards last year.  Starting Tuesday and ending Friday, firefighters with Humboldt Bay Fire who are not part of the Water Rescue Team are continuing their training on assisting the Water Rescue Team from the ground during response calls involving water situations.

"It’s absolutely essential that everybody is on the same page and that everybody knows how to work together and is fluid in their action.  So that way, when we have an emergency, that's not the time to be showing someone how to do something," said David Terry, the Lead Instructor of the Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team.

Every year, firefighters with Humboldt Bay Fire who are not part of the Water Rescue Team have about three hours of this training.  While this training is not mandatory for the United States Lifesaving Association’s Aquatic Response Team standards, which Humboldt Bay Fire follows, fire officials believes these training exercises are important to conduct.

"Part of our mission statement is that we're committed to community service.  And part of that community service is making sure that we're doing everything that we possibly can to keep the community safe and trying to be proactive," said Terry.

Humboldt Bay Fire officials say they respond to about two to three water rescue missions in the greater Eureka area per year.  They also say there are tips you can follow to reduce your risk of being in that situation.

"Don't underestimate the water anywhere in Humboldt County.  Whether it's the ocean or whether it's the bay or the rivers or the creeks, especially when we have flooding, it moves much faster than people think and it's much colder than people think and they can get into trouble very quickly," said Sean Robertson, the Training Battalion Chief of Humboldt Bay Fire.

But thanks to training exercises like these, all members of Humboldt Bay Fire are trained to know what to do to assist you if you are in an emergency involving water.

There are currently 13 members of the Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team and officials say they are looking to add three more members in the next year.