The Shawnee Fire Department recently sent six firefighters to an extensive six-day Flood and Swiftwater Technician (FAST) rescue training.


The Shawnee Fire Department recently sent six firefighters to an extensive six-day Flood and Swiftwater Technician (FAST) rescue training.
Capt. Scott Killgore, Lieutenants Craig Cooper, James Kriwanek, Brenden Sheppard and Travis Cooley, as well as Firefighter Colt Forsythe, attended the course at Rescue Training International located in New Braunfels, Texas.
The course is designed to provide highly technical life saving skills to rescue professionals exposed to flood and swift water rescue situations.
Over the course of six days, the group learned multiple disciplines including FAST Incident Command, search elements, physical and technical risks, anchor and rope systems, as well as survival and rescue swims and rescue boat operations, just to name a few.  
Most all of the training took place on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers where real life conditions unfolded as two of the six days presented with significant thunder and lightning storms.
One of the training evolutions was a night excursion that would challenge the firefighters until 1 a.m. in those storms. The conditions mimicked the Canadian river, here in Pottawatomie County, when flash floods exist.  
In light of several incidents having occurred in the past on the Canadian River, the training can prove useful, with certifications obtained by the Shawnee firefighters being active for a three year duration.  Training on the newly acquired skills will be a constant task to stay proficient for rescues and recertification as well.  The Shawnee Fire Department hopes to expand the training to additional personnel on the department.