Salina area swift water rescue team prepped and ready if needed


SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – With flooding happening north of Salina, the swift water rescue team is checking gear this week and ready to roll.

“We do have some sandbags left over from our 2019 response to flooding,” said Saline County Emergency Management Director Michelle Barkley. “So we just make sure we have a staging location and the resources needed.”

The local fire department has a unique relationship with the sheriff’s office. They combine resources for a swift water rescue team.

“In Salina, we don’t have a lot of floods,” said Captain Tait Walker with Salina fire and the rescue team. “The City of Salina has gracefully given us some funding to get the boat operations to where it is today.”

With boats to use on water and ice, they can do these swift-water rescues, but for house rescues, the sheriff’s office comes into play.

“We do train together and we do as often as we can,” said Captain Jim Hughes with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. “We get good help with training. Mid-America rescue offers us great training.”

They hope they don’t need the training, but they have the gear and cooperation to cover flooding when it happens.

“This week, I hope we’ve seen the last of the water for a while,” said Captain Walker. “You know there is some concern that we will get activated. Hopefully, the storms will split us. And if we do we are prepared to help the citizens of Saline County.”

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