The Penn Township Fire Department spent Sunday morning training on the East Race, honing their water rescue skills.
They train on their portion of the river often, but only get a chance to use the more rapid waters in the east race once a year.
The group worked on several techniques such as aggressive swimming and swimmer rescues.
They say it is important to perfect and understand the skills because fast-flowing water can quickly take a person under.
“Time is of the essence with swift water rescue. You only have maybe two three maybe five minutes. Once they go under, their chances of rescue really drop to recovery,” says Brian Kazmierzak, Battalion Chief of Penn Township FD.
Penn Township also spends a lot of time on target practice to make sure they can throw a rope out to someone struggling in the water.
Accuracy is important, because they only get one or two chances to get the person to safety before the current carries them out of sight.