Life-saving training

Capt. Steve List of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority adjusts ropes around DFRA engineer John Brennan, who was posing as a victim during a training exercise this week below Smelter Rapid in the Animas River. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Capt. Steve List of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority adjusts ropes around DFRA engineer John Brennan, who was posing as a victim during a training exercise this week below Smelter Rapid in the Animas River.

With rafting season rockin’, Durango Fire & Rescue Authority conducted training this week to advance the skills of crews performing rescues in the fast-moving Animas River.

In a session Tuesday, DFRA engineer John Brennan posed as a victim whose foot had become lodged under a rock below Smelter Rapid near Santa Rita Park. Crews positioned themselves up and downstream from Brennan with rope throw bags. Capt. Steve List swam to the “victim” and secured him with a series of ropes that crews on the river banks used to pull Brennan to safety.

The flow in the Animas on Friday peaked at 1,730 cubic feet per second, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. The flow, which historically peaks in the first part of June, has been slightly below average this week.

Some rain or snow in the high country could change that. The National Weather Service in Grand Junction forecast a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms today with a possibility of precipitation through the weekend.

Herald Staff

Jay Daniels, a firefighter/paramedic with the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, gives instructions to crew members on the banks of the Animas River during a training session. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Jay Daniels, a firefighter/paramedic with the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, gives instructions to crew members on the banks of the Animas River during a training session.

A member of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority handles ropes during a swift-water rescue training session. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

A member of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority handles ropes during a swift-water rescue training session.

Durango Fire & Rescue Authority Engineer John Brennan clings to a rock down stream from Smelter Rapids in the Animas River this week during a training class. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Durango Fire & Rescue Authority Engineer John Brennan clings to a rock down stream from Smelter Rapids in the Animas River this week during a training class.

Durango Fire & Rescue Authority engineer John Brennan is pulled toward the banks of the Animas River and safety. He posed as a “victim,” needing rescue from the fast-moving waters. Enlarge photo

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Durango Fire & Rescue Authority engineer John Brennan is pulled toward the banks of the Animas River and safety. He posed as a “victim,” needing rescue from the fast-moving waters.

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