GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – The Great Bend Fire Department spent Friday afternoon making sure their skills are up to date in case of a water rescue emergency.

“Getting in that fast moving water is an eye opener,” Captain Eric Yoder said. “It’s a force you don’t know until you get into it.”

Strong currents and people yelling for help.

“Help me,” a simulated victim cried.

The Great Bend Fire Department conducted a controlled swift water rescue simulation.

“With all the flooding going on, we got to be able to handle it,” Yoder said. “We’re the first people on call when they’re in trouble.”

Yoder said it doesn’t take a lot of water to be swept away.

“Eight to 12 inches will float your car,” he said. “Once you get floating, you aren’t going to stop.”

Crews spent the afternoon putting on a different uniform, hopping in the water and learning life-saving techniques.

“We’ll use boats or rescue swimmers or we get a throw bag to get them with a rope,” he said. “We’ll have some of our rescue swimmers pretending to be floating down the river, and we’ll send rescue swimmers to get them.”

The Great Bend crew hasn’t made any water rescues yet, but they’re ready for any future flood emergencies.