Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team underwent a week-long training

The Humboldt Bay is a beautiful place to live, but that water can also pose danger.

That’s where the Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team comes in. At the Ryan Slough, the water rescue team trains with a mock rescue of a kayaker.

“We tend to have one particular person in charge of organizing a drill. What the crews get is they get dispatched to a certain situation they show up and they are tasked with figuring it out from there,” Humboldt Bay Fire public information officer Talia Flores said.

Crews are not told most of the specifics so they can face the situation head-on.

Every other day this week, crews gathered to train in inland waterways, on the bay, and in the mud.

“Because a lot of these places around here can get super muddy, super hard to walk in. Somebody who could be incapacitated to any degree would need a lot of extra help in order to get there,” Flores said. “So we are putting our crews through these situations so they know how to react in a real situation,” Flores said.

Outside of the dedicated team of twelve, all crews get the same training and undergo the same scenarios.

“But if we happen to have two water rescue people on shift that day, everyone else needs to fill in where they can which is why we do these platoon-based training,” Flores said.

And the need for a rescue can happen at any time.

“We see them off the Samoa bridge, off the bay directly, things like this in the slough, sometimes people get stuck, boats get overturned or other things that can contribute to an emergency,” Flores said.

The Humboldt Bay Fire also offers tips for people to avoid water emergencies.

“The biggest piece of advice that we can give to people as far as safety is to make sure you have your safety equipment, whether that’s a wetsuit or a life vest, safety emergency lights that can clip on to your vest,” Flores said. “Checking on your local conditions is always the best kind of way to know ‘Is it good? Is it not such a good idea to go out today?'”

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