Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Preparing for Potential Flash Flooding

Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Preparing for Potential Flash Flooding

By: Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY - Howard County is expected to be under a flash flood watch Tuesday night but the Volunteer Fire Department is well prepared.

Just last week, Howard County was hit with a flash flood that left one man stranded. Now, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department is preparing their crews at Moss Lake for swift water rescues.

Tommy Sullivan. the Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief, said, "I went to New Braunfels and got my level three, two, and one as an instructor for swift water and now I teach it to my firefighters."

The Volunteer Fire Department uses jet boats to create what they call hydraulics to simulate a real life flood situation.

"With this swift moving water and hydraulics, we can suck them under the water, teach them how to self-retrieve to get out of it, self-rescue and how to breathe in those situations," said Sullivan.

The county is focusing more heavily on swift water training as a result of the most recent rescue they faced while saving a man that was stranded on top of an 18-wheeler on Highway 669 in Borden County.

"When you pull up to these waters if you don't know the area, and you're not sure how deep it is, stop, turn around. If you can't turn around, just stop and wait. In west Texas, you give it a couple hours and the water will recede and then you can make a good informed decision, whether you want to keep going," said Sullivan.

As a safety reminder, the Volunteer Fire Department wants people to remember the phrase, "Turn around, don't drown."

"It's not worth it. Take a little time, save your life. Even as rescuers, our safety is our first priority," said Sullivan.