The Kelowna Fire Department took to the waters on Mission Creek on Monday (June 1), for a training exercise.
Karsten Von Hoesslin from Raven Rescue is working with four Kelowna Fire Department technical rescue teams to practice shore-based and in-water skills.
“We do this to get the technical rescue team comfortable with being in this type of water,” said Von Hoesslin. “This is the scenario where we might be called to rescue people and we need to operate comfortably for it to be successful.
The water in Mission Creek is moving rapidly and there has been localized flooding in some areas, following Saturday (May 30) night’s thunderstorm combined with the melting snowpack.
“Mission creek is probably peaking, so this is the worst that it will be,” explained Von Hoesslin. “So, this is the best day to train on. I say don’t train when it’s safe, train safely when it’s real.”
Firefighters on the technical rescue team are practicing shore-based throw bagging, rope skills, as well as using a boat on the water, to swimming in the creek.
The City of Kelowna is preparing for high water levels in Mission Creek and is advising property owners who have experienced flooding from the creek in the past to be prepared. A high streamflow advisory is currently in place for the region.