SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Crews are preparing for another busy weekend of emergency calls – and the swift water rescue team is ready to activate all of their resources.
A 28-foot jet boat has been exclusive to Sacramento City Fire Station 5 since Memorial Day.
It’s a fire engine and an ambulance on the water.
The “Evervigilant” is always gassed up and in the water, just minutes from their station on Broadway, and can be manned and en route to an emergency in about five minutes.
It tops speeds of about 40 knots – and costs a few hundred-thousand dollars. But what the boat allows the swift water rescue team to do is priceless
“This boat is staffed with firefighters, paramedics, USR members,” said Roberto Padilla, Sac City Fire’s public information officer. “The people are Sacramento are really lucky to have this.”
Just this past weekend, the boat made over a dozen run for water emergencies at the “Rage on the River” event – an event that attracted over 5,000 partiers who seemed to throw common sense overboard, especially at the confluence.
“This is a dangerous area because it’s where the American and the Sacramento Rivers meet,” Padilla said. “There is a lot of underwater current and danger, and the water is very cold.”
Rescue crews train often for water emergencies – and are equipped for any situation
“Obviously, safety equipment, dry suit, floatation device, helmet, fins, throw bag and a knife so I can cut you or myself free,” said Sac City Fire Cpt. Chris Swarbrick about the items crews carry.
And the team not only saves lives in the water.
“We can supply firefighting efforts to grassfires along the parkway, we can do it all,” Swarbrick said.
The Evervigilant’s master hose can pump 500 gallons of water a minute.
Expect crews to be patrolling the waterways all weekend. If they ask if you’re OK, give them a thumbs up for yes. And if you’re not, give them a thumbs down.