Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

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Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Members help tubers, save fugitives and pull stranded boaters to safety
Durango Fire Protection District firefighters Seth Thomas, right, and John Brennan pull firefighter Beau Mattison out of the Animas River on Thursday during a swiftwater rescue training exercise. Time is of the essence in swiftwater rescue missions, meaning team members need to be well-trained and respond quickly.
Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Breaux Burns, kneeling, demonstrates different knots that can be used in swiftwater rescues.
Becoming a swiftwater technician

To become a swiftwater technician with the Durango Fire Protection District, members must first complete the basic training for becoming a firefighter.
After that, they must complete other certifications, including a specialized four- or five-day course. “I like calling it intensive water therapy,” said John Brennan with DFPD.
This is because trainees are swimming in the water “a lot” each day. The training helps people understand the power of the river.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighters Seth Thomas, right, and John Brennan pull firefighter Beau Mattison out of the Animas River on Thursday during a swiftwater rescue training exercise. Time is of the essence in swiftwater rescue missions, meaning team members need to be well-trained and respond quickly.
Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Breaux Burns, kneeling, demonstrates different knots that can be used in swiftwater rescues.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Breaux Burns practices throwing a rope to fellow firefighter Beau Mattison in the Animas River on Thursday during swiftwater rescue training.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Beau Mattison jumps off a rock in the Animas River to grab a rope that was thrown to him last week during swiftwater rescue training.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Beau Mattison participates in a swiftwater-rescue training exercise Thursday in the high-flowing Animas River.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Beau Mattison participates in a swiftwater-rescue training exercise Thursday in the high-flowing Animas River.

Swiftwater rescue team enters its busy season

Durango Fire Protection District firefighter Breaux Burns demonstrates different knots that can be used in swiftwater rescues.
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