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Local crews help with swift water rescues in northern California

The Ventura County Fire Department has sent a swift water rescue team up to Northern California. The crew of 14 is there to help out with massive flooding due to heavy rains.

The crew from Ventura County got the call late Thursday. Since then they have been stationed in Merced County ready to help out where needed.

The response is part of a mutual aid support at the request of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The Ventura County crew of 14 has met up with a larger emergency team, over the last few days, they have been practicing drills as a team and keeping a close eye on any potential hazards.

“When the call comes down we need to be at our best and operate at our best, and so do they. So getting teamwork together, everyone meshing and running on the same note is vital,” said Steve Swindle with the Ventura County Fire Department.

At this time the Ventura County crew hasn’t been called out to a rescue situation just yet but they are prepared and ready for if and when they are needed.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be that the weather is completely horrendous like it was last weekend. For example a lot of the water ways are still extremely swollen, and you get onlookers, kids especially, that want to go down and take a look at those and they find themselves in a bad situation and it is easy to slip and fall and get swept away,” said Swindle.

And while a local team of 14 helps those up North, Ventura County is still protected with teams down here.

“We have a lot of resources here in the county. We have a full team ready to go full of equipment and extra personnel as well if it goes down. Luckily we are out of the storms now for a week or so and by the time we start experiencing any rain we anticipate our other team to be home,” said Swindle.

The team in Merced County will stay up there until they are no longer needed. No word yet on when that will be.

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