Reno Fire Department water rescue team trains for upcoming Summer season

The Truckee River will be dangerous for people this year and firefighters are training for rescue.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 9:44 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - After the record winter season our region experienced, Reno Fire Department’s Water Entry Team (WET) has begun their flood water rescue and swift water rescue training ahead of summer.

The team of 36 started their Wednesday out at Fisherman’s Park for some flood rescue training, bringing out their motorboats for the first time since last October.

“There’s ten feet of snow up in the mountains still and all that water is going to come through the Truckee River as it starts to melt,” said Jonathan Bernard, firefighter and training coordinator with RFD WET.

As of Wednesday, April 19th, the Truckee River’s water level is double of what it typically is and depending on the weather of the day, water levels can rise or fall rather quickly, creating unexpected dangers in and around the river.

“The main hazard that is going to catch people off guard is just how fast the river is moving and how much force is behind it, and the water is high, its moving fast the consequences for mistakes are much bigger than they normally are,” said Bernard.

RFD officials are warning: Do not try to go for a swim in the Truckee this year. If you are not proficient in kayaking or rafting, stay out of the water. Do not let your kids in the water, as the currents this season are just too strong, even for adults.