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Wichita Falls Fire Department gets new water rescue boats

The department is looking at getting more funding to go to Swiftwater training in South Texas.
The department is looking at getting more funding to go to Swiftwater training in South Texas.
Updated: Jul. 5, 2019 at 5:05 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Wichita Falls Fire Department purchased new water rescue boats.

"Mainly when we responded down to Houston during the hurricane the boats that we had they worked well down there for what we were doing, but here at home for rescue situations we just felt like we needed to upgrade for better equipment," said WFFD Interim Chief Donald Hughes.

The new watercraft will replace their 1990 models.

"The other boats that we had they were just not made for rescue," said Chief Hughes. "This boat right here {new boat} three or four guys can stand on one side of it and it still floats and our other boats you get on one side of it and everyone goes over."

“The aluminum boat is going to shuttle people back and forth and the rubber inflatable boat is more of a Swiftwater rescue,” said Capt. Chris Duncan.

This new tool along with equipment needed for rescues cost the department around $40,000 which was budgeted for last year.

"Our flooding comes and goes. It may be several more years before we have another flooding event but when we do have a flooding event it seems like its always a big deal and it stresses our department, so this is just going to help," said Capt. Duncan.

The department is looking at getting more funding to go to Swiftwater training in South Texas.

For now, they will continue to work with The Texas Game Warden to learn basic boat operating training.

The department is working on setting a date to reveal the boats to the public.

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