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Danville Life Saving Crew swiftwater rescue team ready for whatever Hurricane Florence brings

Swiftwater rescue team has eight boats, 15 members

DANVILLE, Va. – Many people in Danville are comparing Hurricane Florence to Hurricane Fran in 1996.

On Tuesday, 10 News spoke to a member of the Danville Life Saving Crew's swiftwater rescue team, who was a member of the team in 1996. 

The Danville Life Saving Crew's swiftwater rescue team consists of 15 members.

"Swiftwater, dive, boat operators, shore personnel," swiftwater rescue team member Jim Mullins said.

"Since '96, a lot has changed. We have a Northside station, we have a station here. We don't put all of our eggs in one cart now," Mullins explained.

Mullins said preparing for flooding events like what could happen as a result of Hurricane Florence is key because responding to flooding is tough, given the dangers flooding poses.

"We have grown in our dive team, we have improved on the type of craft that we use. We've got Stokes Baskets now that float. We have kayaks now that you may not be able to get a motorized vehicle in to get somebody out, to get somebody in. We've got additional life jackets for shore personnel, the onlookers that are there."

While a lot of improvements have been made since 1996, the swiftwater rescue team continues to try to improve even more.

"We're trying to get thermal imaging. You think all the water rescues just happen during the daytime when you can see everything? Not really," Mullins said.

He reminds people not to panic if they see water rising.

The water will likely recede fairly quickly.


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