Lawton Fire Department conducts rescue boat training at Lake Helen

firefighters in water

Published June 27, 2023

DaLynna Wood | Multimedia Specialist

The Lawton Fire Department engaged in rescue boat training at Lake Helen, located in Elmer Thomas Park, today. The training session encompassed the utilization of specialized watercraft, including a flat-bottom boat designed for rescues and body recovery, as well as an inflatable swift water boat specifically employed in swift-moving water scenarios for rescuing individuals.

One of the focal points of the training was maneuvering the inflatable boat through a serpentine course, strategically set up to simulate real-life obstacles encountered during rescue operations, such as rocks and trees.

"We are practicing what's called a J Turn," Captain Josh Hall said. "You pull up right next to someone who might be in the water, and you're able to grab them and turn the boat really fast, and that momentum helps you pull the person up into the boat."

The J Turn maneuver is a crucial skill for firefighters as it enables them to swiftly approach a person in distress, execute a rapid boat turn, and employ the boat's momentum to aid in bringing the individual safely on board. This technique plays a vital role in expediting rescue operations and ensuring the safety of both victims and rescuers.

Moreover, the training session involved a slow search exercise, where various items were strategically placed in the reeds. Firefighters performed a meticulous search, honing their skills in locating and recovering objects amidst dense vegetation. This exercise serves to enhance their capabilities in conducting thorough searches during rescue operations and aids in improving their efficiency in locating individuals in need of assistance.

The Lawton Fire Department's commitment to regular and rigorous training exercises showcases their dedication to providing swift and effective rescue services to the community. By practicing and refining their skills in different water scenarios, firefighters are better prepared to handle emergencies and protect the lives of those in danger.


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The Mission of the Lawton Fire Department is to serve our community with compassion, loyalty, and utmost integrity by providing rapid and professional...


580 581 3280


623 SW D Ave
Lawton, OK73501
United States