Tragedy in Edinburgh River reinforces need for training

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EDINBURGH, Ind – Fourteen firefighters from four fire departments are training to become water rescue certified.  They are learning the physical and mental challenges of the job.  FOX59’s cameras were invited to see just how demanding the job is.

“Physicality has got to be at the top of the list,” said Fire fighter Brandon Johnson.

Brandon Johnson and the 13 other firefighters are learning what it takes to become water rescue certified.

“Even in a training scenario it could literally be life or death,” said Johnson.

The 14 trainees, saw first-hand how critical water rescues can be,  as 17-year old Jason Moran was recovered from the Big Blue River in Edinburgh on Sunday.

“Even when it turns from a water rescue to recovery, it`s very important it to stick it out until the end and give that family closure,” said Johnson.

Instructor Greg Williams says he hopes you never need to call on a water rescuer, but if you do they`ll be ready.

“Be careful, wear a life jacket, moving water is extremely different from going out boating on a pond,” said Williams.

Johnson says several of his colleagues rescued Jason Moran from the Big Blue River—and it’s taken an emotional toll.

“It’s kind of an unspoken thing.  I can tell whether they want to admit it or not,” said Johnson.

“It’s hard for a rescuer to effect a rescue in that area, especially if the current is up, it makes it difficult,” said Williams.