Fort Smith firefighters can inflate swift water rescue boat in two minutes

FOX24

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFTA) — The Fort Smith Fire Department is investing in a new swift water rescue boat.

This comes two months after Debbie Stevens drowned after she drove into flooded water.

Firefighters can inflate the boat in just two minutes.

It’s centrally located at Station 7 and will be used in urban-style rescues.

David Sutter, Water Rescue Coordinator, says it will increase the fire department’s ability to react to any water rescue in the city.

“This is going to be more designed for narrow areas that we need to inflate the boat, and then lift it over something to get to another location, or possibly walk it towards a car or towards a vehicle that’s stranded,” Sutter said.

The boat was handmade in San Diego, and ordered before Steven’s drowned.

The department plans to order two more smaller boats, to be added to Station 9 and Station 6.

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