Curwensville, PA – A rescue team five years in the making is now readier than ever to respond to water-based emergencies.
The Pennsylvania Region 3 Swiftwater Rescue Team is a joint effort between Sandy Township Fire Department, Curwensville Rescue Hose and Ladder ambulance and fire crews, the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency, Elkland Search and Rescue, and the Mountaineer Search and Rescue teams.
All of the team members have specific training for swiftwater rescues, and they have an impressive amount of equipment that helps them get the job done.
The team is certified as Type 2a based on their training, number of members, and the technology they use. It’s a high honor that few other teams in Pennsylvania have accomplished.
Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency (Clearfield, PA) – provides EMA personnel and vehicles to tow support trailers such as communications and trailers equipped with tents, MREs, water, etc. Also, they tow the water rescue equipment trailer.
Elkland Search and Rescue (St. Marys, PA) – provides manpower, ATVs, drone capabilities, mapping capabilities, and specialized expertise for land search and rescue often needed in conjunction with the water rescue efforts.
Rescue Hose and Ladder Ambulance (Curwensville, PA) – provides a fully stocked ambulance and EMTs/paramedics/RNs and doctors whose functions are to provide care to the Region 3 Team Members as well as advise in issues such as infectious disease and various treatment modalities.
Mountaineer Search and Rescue – provides manpower, ATVs, additional communications support, and specialized expertise for land search and rescue often needed in conjunction with the water rescue efforts.
Curwensville Rescue Hose and Ladder (Curwensville, PA) – provides multiple boats, tow-support apparatus, specialized water rescue equipment, and firefighters specially trained in swiftwater, still water, and ice rescue.
Sandy Township Volunteer Fire Department (Sandy Township, PA) – provides multiple boats, tow-support apparatus, specialized water rescue equipment, and firefighters specially trained in swiftwater, still water, and ice rescue. All four Sandy Township Fire Companies have members who are a part of this team.
Although these fire companies, ambulance services, and other organizations are the only ones involved in the SWRT at this time, there continue to seek participation from other interested fire departments.
Additionally, they have the support of the six counties Emergency Management Centers and personnel. Their varied and many additional resources include the Knowledge Center (Knowledge Center empowers organizations with a common operating picture during a critical event in order to save lives and mitigate risk. Our incident management technology platform is the only mission-ready incident management product providing enterprise-wide visibility and interoperability from a comprehensive, integrated platform with a single-sign-on), canine resources such as cadaver dogs, statewide radio communication capability, and extensive list of additional resources and their capabilities throughout our area and the entire state (air ambulances, State Police helicopters, PA HART-Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team).
Above: The entire team photo
Below: Deputy chief of the Sandy Township Oklahoma Fire Company #37, Dana Smith, shows some of the equipment that is used in the rescues, including dry jackets, suits, and floatation devices for adults, kids, and even pets!