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Coffee with SHS: Swift Water MAYDAY and Lessons Learned

  • April 26, 2021 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

Join members of the SHS Section Board and speakers Deputy Chief Ken Hughes and Lieutenant Pruitt for a Coffee with SHS Session.

The event will be held via Microsoft Teams on Monday, April 26, at 11:30 AM ET. There will be a presentation, led by Chief Hughes and Lieutenant Pruitt, followed by Q&A with session participants.

Registration is limited - the first 225 members to sign up will be provided with the information to join after their membership has been confirmed. Please provide a valid email address so you can be contacted with the join information. Registration closes at 12 PM ET on Saturday, April 24. You may not receive the meeting link until Sunday, April 25.

Session description:

On September 7, 2011, a line of thunderstorms stalled over Baltimore County, MD.  Inundated with several inches of rain in a very brief period, crews were faced with numerous responses.  During one incident adjacent to the Patapsco River, crews were dispatched for a report of two civilians stranded in their vehicle in need of rescue from the rapidly rising river.  Swift Water Team members entered their boats and planned to traverse the engorged river to retrieve the civilians much like they had done many times before.  Unfortunately they were faced with unprecedented conditions and the rescue soon turned near catastrophic. 

This presentation will discuss the conditions faced that day and the decision making process of the Incident Commander and a member from the Swift Water Team.  The non-traditional MAYDAY event will be reviewed with a firsthand account from a member who was forced to cling to a tree for hours as he awaited to be rescued.  The impact of the event will be covered as well as the lessons learned and steps initiated to take the near tragedy and foster positive departmental growth.  

Any MAYDAY event is significant to not only the department but to the members on the scene. The presentation will focus on the personal impact on those involved and the considerations of how we can continue to take care of our members not only during the event but long after the event.

Contact SHS Section liaison Taylor Munday with any questions.

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