Deputies train to rescue swimmers from canals

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With the sweltering heat, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office knows people may try to cool off in dangerous waters. 

On Saturday, Search & Rescue members trained on how to pull people out of swift water.

The team trained in a canal along the De Wolf north of McKinley in Fresno County.

The rescuers learned a number of safety techniques including how to swim into currents, and using their bodies to swim across a canal.

The sheriff’s office chose the location for training because there’s a bend in the canal and the change in elevation creates waves. 

Lieutenant Kathy Curtice said the rescuers wore full body suits with life jackets because even for them, it can be dangerous.

“We want to make sure we put them in some place that’s very controlled in a safe environment, but also with big waves. That’s something we have at this location,” said Curtice.

The sheriff’s office normally does this training a couple of times a year, but say this year, it’s more important with the high water levels and dangerous conditions.

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