Arizona helicopter crew rescues family stuck on car's roof during flood

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) shared a video capturing a nighttime flood water rescue of a family stranded on their car roof on Sept. 21.

DPS shared footage of the rescue after its helicopter was requested to help deputies with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office when a car became stuck in a flooded wash south of Maricopa.

Water levels were still rising as the family of six, including four kids ages 8, 4, 2, and 11 months, were trapped on top of the car trying to avoid the fast-moving water.

"Ranger 1 arrived on scene and a trooper-paramedic was inserted via 75’ hoist to make contact and assess the situation. The crew was then able to successfully extract all six people via hover ingress and get them to safety," DPS said.

"It's a lot different when you bring the little kids involved because if they go in the water, they have essentially zero chance of survival, very minimal," said DPS Trooper Paramedic Eric Tarr. "I put Chemlights on each one of the children, that way if they did go in the water, I would at least be able to find them again. Usually when we train, we train with adults, so when you throw the kids in there, there's definitely that escalation of concern."

Jake Arnold was the pilot who hovered next to the SUV in the rushing water. Tarr was in the water and Russ Dodge stood on the skid of the helicopter.

Things went smoothly, but they were ready just in case things didn’t go as planned.

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