Seven agencies within the Southern Arizona Technical Rescue Group are training in water accident management; one of the many area firefighters must train in to prepare for swift water rescues.
“We practice some swimming techniques when we’re going out to victims. We practice how to protect ourselves against victims that are in despair and that latch onto us,” said Joseph Noriega, a suppression captain with Tucson Fire Department. All firefighters get trained in some form of swift water emergency, and they keep the training fresh no matter how active or inactive monsoon may turn out to be. Tucson Fire reported the number of swift water rescue calls for 2019 was at 20; for 2020, that number went down to eight.