Billings Fire Department introduces first watercraft to promisin - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Billings Fire Department introduces first watercraft to promising water rescue program

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

While our area hasn't experienced any major flooding yet, what if a water rescue were needed in Billings? The Billings Fire Department introduced two new jet skis to its promising water rescue program.

It's the first day of training for the water rescue team at Lake Elmo State Park. The first thing on their agenda is learning how to ride. Greg Roper is an engineer firefighter at the Billings Fire Department.

"One of our problems that we've seen in the past is that we've had quite a few water rescues and we've been lacking in that area," Roper said. "So what we've done is we're putting together a water rescue program and today's the beginning of our training of using jet skis for a swift water rescue program."

Roper said training with the jet skis will go on for two more days.

"So what we're doing is we're just gonna do infant stages," Roper explained. "Start off with basic skills and work on up. The second day, we'll start working on more advanced skills on running the jet skis in which we'll do multiple patient pick-offs and then the third day, we'll actually be working on the river and then start doing more advanced skills, in which we'll be doing more advanced skills in the swift water."

Roper said the most important thing about the training is safety.

"We want to make sure that we don't put ourselves in a bad situation when trying to help somebody that's having a bad day on the river."

Roper said he is hopeful that the water rescue program will be able to use these jet skis by this summer. The jet skis are the first water craft to be introduced into the fleet of vehicles for Billings Fire and Rescue.

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