COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Nearly 95% of the calls Collierville Fire Department respond to are not for fires. Most are for medical emergencies, including events like car accidents, gas leaks, or water rescue. With the warm weather coming, assistance in water rescues will significantly increase for the Collierville firefighters.
“We’ve got the Wolf River to our northern boundary that we occasionally need to go in to make rescues and recoveries", says Paul Witt, the Chief of Operations at Collierville Fire Department. "This team is part of that, and for a small fire department like ours, everybody needs to be involved.”
Trainings were held at Halle Park Lake. Certification takes 1 or 2 weeks, based on specialization. The CFD currently has 15 staff members trained to the Swift Water Technician Level. Collierville Fire is equipped with two inflatable rescue boats that can go from deflated to inflated within 10 minutes of arrival at a scene.
The Collierville Fire Department, among other fire departments in Shelby County, have worked in association with the Tennessee Task Force One for the past 15-20 years. This Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team trains firefighters in search and rescue techniques for land and water. As an extension of this association, the Collierville Fire Department trains its firefighter and rescue worker personnel.
But Collierville’s firefighters aren't stopping there. Next training - suiting up for handling hazardous material.