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Phoenix firefighters gearing up for monsoon season

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 22:07:40-04

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Fire Department spent Wednesday morning practicing swiftwater rescue techniques.

"Yeah, this could be anybody that is stuck in a dangerous floodwater situation, whether they're inside their vehicle or sitting on top of the vehicle," said Captain Bobby Dubnow with the department's special operations section.

Dubnow said by using a helicopter to rescue victims, they're able to keep everyone safe.

"There's a lot of visible and hidden dangers and anytime we can keep our folks out of that water and dangerous environment, that's a good thing," he said.

The department's training comes two weeks before the official start of the monsoon season.

The training was completed with the help of the Central Arizona Project.

CAP is a 336-mile canal system that moves Colorado River water into and through central and southern Arizona.

According to CAP, the flow of the moving water creates a current that helps simulate swiftwater, allowing the department to train for the rescues that often become necessary during monsoon season.

Officials also said just because the water looks safe, it can still be dangerous.

"We like to emphasize the fact that it is moving, that's why the entire 336 miles is fenced and patrolled because we want to keep people away from it and out of it," said DeEtte Person with CAP.

Monsoon season starts June 15 and runs through the end of September.