See How Firefighters Fight Raging Waters

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Firefighters of course fight fires, but they also fight raging waters.

When heavy rains spark flash floods, water rescue teams launch into action.

What may look like a white water rafting adventure is actually a swift water rescue training exercise for Topeka firefighters.

"That is the beauty of our job. No day is the same," says Fire Station 11 firefighter, Dylan Smith.

When Fire Station 11 firefighters aren't on a fire call, they are in the water. And with recent flooding in Kansas, they want to make sure they are prepared.

"We have to do our best to train for any situation," Smith says.

They train all year long; practicing ice water rescues in winter months.
And in summer months, they train in the Kansas River where just 2 years ago 3 people drowned near the water treatment plant.

"You should not mess around anywhere near that weir down there because it is a drowning machine," says Dusty Griffin, Captain of Fire Station 11.

They ride inside what they call a "Creature Craft."

"The creature craft is a very special boat," says Griffin.

Inside the $11,000 boat, one fireman steers while the other is able to bring a drowning victim to safety-keeping Kansans safe if the worst were to occur.

"Respect that water and remember that is a deadly force out there," says Smith.

Firefighters at Fire Station 11 say they haven't had to use the Creature Craft in actual scenarios recently, but they want to be prepared.

Kansas hopes to streamline its rescue efforts. Last month, the Governor signed a bill putting the State Fire Marshal in charge of the Kansas Search and Rescue Response program which includes situations such as buildings collapses and swift water rescues.