Western Massachusetts firefighters practice floodwater rescue at Six Flags

Hampden County

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Part of the Six Flags Water Park was converted into a lifesaving training ground Thursday.

This isn’t your every-day Amusement park attraction. Six Flags New England sped up the rapid flow of  Adventure River in the Hurricane Harbor Water Park in Agawam.

Western Massachusetts firefighters and rescue personnel took over Adventure River Thursday, dealing with Conditions meant to simulate rushing floodwaters like rescue crews are dealing with in Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina.

Project coordinator, Mark McCabe told 22News, “The water is moving at six miles per hour, six knots, creating over 100-pounds of force on the body affecting the rescue. If the water doubles in speed the force on the body is quadrupled.”

Firefighter Rosie Lacas of the Berkshire County town of Dalton is among the 18-member river rescue team enhancing their skills. She knows all too well the additional dangers the fast-moving water poses for her and the people she may one day be called upon to rescue.

“There’s a lot to consider with swift water, currents, debris, and obstruction there’s a lot more to consider than surface water,” Lacas told 22News. 

Thursday’s enhanced training at Adventure River concluded four days of intensive training in the Greater Springfield area.

The fire rescue team is ready for deployment if needed for swift water rescue where-ever they may be deployed, locally or anywhere in the country.

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