MIDLAND, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - Midland firefighters swapped their boots for floatation devices today. The annual department-wide drowning prevention training began at 9 a.m. and continued on through the afternoon. Each fire station in Midland participated in the preparation for Summer water emergencies.
According to the Fire Department there are 4,000 drowning deaths in the US per year. Captain Aaron Cox, says the training prepares firefighters to be prepared for different situations that can arise whether it's inside or outside of a pool.
Summer months is West Texas aren't always bright and sunny. Severe storm activity and flash flooding in areas that don't have drainage systems, can lead to deadly results.
"Lots of people just run down to the store, they end up getting caught in swift water, and then it's our job to rescue them," Cox said.
Although the training did focus on pool safety, firefighters also prepared for much more than typical drowning scenarios.
"There's been instances in the last couple years where we've had 30, 40 high water rescues in a night," MFD Engineer Nathan Thompson said.
Firefighters got hands on with floatation devices and rope used in rescue situations.
Even though many activities occurred in water, one station in particular was left on land.
Cox had multiple CPR stations set up outside the pool, where he helped demonstrate the latest life saving techniques to trainees.
He says the majority of CPR that any, one person will do in their life time is at home and preformed on a relative. However, it's still important for firefighters to know when responding to drownings.
Captain Cox says drowning is one of few accidental deaths that can be prevented. He's hopes that keeping veteran and incoming firefighters educated on prevention techniques, will better prepare them to prevent drowning deaths.
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