Mazomanie Fire department ready for swiftwater rescues

Joe Block

The Mazomanie Fire Department now has a fully equipped and trained swiftwater rescue team. In May, a few more members achieved swiftwater rescue status through training Pioneer Rescue and Outfitters. The National Fire Protection Association training course entails at least 16 hours of intense physical training.

Fire Chief mark Geisler said, “As Chief I am very proud of the level of commitment our members have put into this team. We currently have 15 of our personnel trained in swiftwater rescue.”

The department, through grants and community donations, is equipped with two inflatable rescue boats, one specialized swiftwater boat, ropes and rigging, rescuer flotation devices, helmets, and wetsuits. All the gear is stored in a 16 foot enclosed trailer.

The final swiftwater training exam requires two rescuers to rescue three victims from class 4 rapids at once in a timed scenario. The department traveled to Manchester, IA and Iron Mountain, MI to complete the training. They also use sections of Black Earth Creek and the Wisconsin River for in-house training.

Pictured, Troy Jensen during training.

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