DPS conducts swift water rescue training

- The valley is ready for wet weather, and while there have been no flash floods so far, the predictions are that El Nino could create a wet winter for us.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is getting prepared ahead of the storms by training.

The upper Salt River near Globe, Arizona is the location where DPS officers learn how to conduct a swift water rescue.

"All the predictions show a high potential for flash flooding and widespread flooding that can cause severe problems," said Russ Dodge.

Trooper Dodge held a class of a dozen which included paramedics, search and rescue from Yavapai County, and members of DPS's SWAT team. They are ready to take on this training and get their swift water rescue certification.

"What this allows us to do is get people who are physically fit, who can be used to working in extreme environments, who can think on their feet and operate in these dynamic situations," said Dodge.

Dodge says 25 troopers are either certified or in the process of getting certified.

As El Nino makes its first appearance, he says their ultimate hope is not to have to use their newly core team. It's partly up to mother nature, but it's mostly up to Arizonans. He reminds motorists to "turn around, don't drown."

"Stay out of the low areas if there's water in there, find another way around, do not chance it," he said.

Once training is completed the agency will have at least 25 members certified in swift water rescue.

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