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Fire department recruits participate in water rescue training

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Recruits from the Idaho Falls Fire Department dove into the Snake River on Thursday.

The recruits took on the frigid temperatures to help them prepare for life as an EMT.

"We're really excited for these six new recruits," said IFFD Paramedic Captain Scott Wetzel. "This is the first hire we made in two years, and they really help our staffing and get us back up. With our call volume going up, it really helps us to get these new recruits on the ground."

The water rescue training is part of a ten week course offered by the department. Wetzel says it's valuable for his trainees to get hands-on experience before they go out in the field.

"When you actually get in the water and it's 40 degrees and it's moving fast, it adds a whole new element to it," Wetzel said. "So, the fact that they actually get to spend time in the water, and spend time pulling victims out of the water, that’s huge. So, when they do run into that in a real situation, they have an idea what to expect.

With temperatures increasing, people are excited to get back in the water, but Wetzel says that could be dangerous in our rivers and lakes right now

"It’s really tempting right now, because the weather's getting nice," Wetzel said. "It’s getting warm, but you got to remember this water is only a few days from coming off the mountain or out of the lake, so it's still really cold."

For the six recruits finishing up their training, it's the end to a new beginning

"A lot of guys have been trying to get this position with fire department for a lot of years, so it's kind of a big deal for them to be able to get their dream job and be able to get out and help people and be a part of the community," Wetzel said.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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