Lewis & Clark County Search & Rescue

Swift Water/Ice Rescue

The Water Extraction Team consists of two highly skilled disciplines that keep the team fully operational year round in both missions and training. This team trains together on a regular basis to heighten our skills with personnel and equipment both on shore and in the water. Ready to respond at a moments notice, this team is most often called upon for fast-response rescue missions, though also provides a valuable asset to longer recovery operations.

Swift Water Rescue

Swiftwater rescuer swimming
Swiftwater rescuer floating downstream

Swift-water rescue consists of members trained in the field of rescue and recovery in fast moving waters such as rivers, canals, streams, drainages, etc. All swimmers are certified to Swift-Water Rescue Technician I and above, while shore support is highly skilled in the use of ropes, river awareness, and much more. The team utilizes technical abilities with ropes to use the river to our advantage as well as for safety measures.

Each operation is performed with a heightened awareness for dangers in and around the water. While in the river highly specialized equipment is utilized to ensure the success of our mission, regardless of the difficulty. The team often works closely with the dive team in water operations.

Ice Rescue

Ice Rescue consists of members trained in the field of rescue and recovery in cold water, ice, and winter conditions both on and in the water. Each specialist that enters the water is certified to Ice Rescue Technician and above, while support members are highly trained in the use of ropes, reading ice conditions, environmental considerations, and much more.

The team utilizes highly specialized equipment to ensure a positive outcome on any mission regardless of the level of difficulty. Specialized environmental suits allow rescuers to safely enter the water even in the worst of weather and water conditions.

The team often utilizes a hovercraft to respond to locations further from shore that would be unreachable or unsafe to access by boat or shore personnel. Skilled in the use of chainsaws and technical rope skills, the team is capable of quickly opening up large sections of ice to allow divers to access individuals or objects that have been submerged beneath the ice. The team often works closely with dive teams during recovery operations in cold water or under the ice.

Ice rescuers
Ice Rescue Team practicing pulling a patient out of the water.