A foot of water traveling 2 mph is all it takes to sweep away a large SUV, pickup truck or car.
Flash flooding is common in many areas of our community, so it is important to remember to avoid water-covered roads, and to never drive around a “road closed” barrier.
Within CCFR’s boundaries, there are two rivers, as well as countless creeks, lakes and ponds, including nearly 12 miles of the Dardenne Blueway, a recreational waterway for kayakers. CCFR crews are ready to respond to water and ice emergencies in any of these bodies of water.
Over the past five years, the District has increased its ability to provide life-saving assistance in water emergencies, with nearly half of CCFR’s professional firefighters now trained in swift water rescue and operations. These crew members are all capable of safely rescuing victims utilizing the District’s two boats, which are housed at Fire Station #5, the station closest to the Mississippi River.
The boats are considered one rescue unit, always traveling together on a specialized trailer that also carries equipment for water and ice rescue operations including 25 personal flotation devices and 15 dry rescue suits. To ensure the safety of victims and first responders, both boats are often together in the water for a rescue.
The 16-foot flat bottom aluminum boat can handle the swift currents often found in rivers and can transport up to six people. It can also be connected to other boats if needed.
The light and easily maneuverable inflatable boat was designed specifically for search and rescue operations in many of the smaller waterways protected by CCFR. It is light enough that just two rescuers can carry it if the need arises.
“This is extremely beneficial during flooding events, where the depth of the water can vary drastically and require the boat to be lifted over or carried short distances,” Deputy Chief Jason Meinershagen says.
The boat can also remain stable in fast-moving water and be launched directly from the banks of the waterway.
These boats also allow CCFR crews to reach victims who are stranded in areas inaccessible by roads during flooding, and to provide mutual aid assistance to neighboring departments near the 10 miles of the Missouri River and 18 miles of the Mississippi River that pass through the District.
Top 5 Weather Safety Tips
- Never enter a water-covered roadway!
- If you hear tornado sirens, take cover in a basement or windowless room.
- Stay tuned to the local news during spring storms.
- Keep your phone charged when bad weather is expected.
- Stay away from floodwaters.