LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Rescue crews practiced their skills in the water at Bear Creek Lake Park on Thursday to be well-prepared for flooding and related evacuations.
West Metro Fire hosted a regional dive team exercise called swift water training at the Jefferson County park.READ MORE: It's Been 1 Year Since Suzanne Morphew Went Missing, Body Still Not Found, Husband Barry Morphew Now In Jail On Murder Charges
The agencies training had a unique situation with real flood conditions to work in.
“In 2013, the Boulder floods kind of caught us off guard. Flood work is not something we typically prepare for. That was a 100-year event and here we are two years later with high water activity again,” said Lt. Brian Brush of West Metro Fire.
This time, dive teams are using the flood conditions to be proactive by working on rescue operations, as well as boat techniques and wide area searches.READ MORE: Colorado Springs Shooting: Neighbors Stunned To Learn 7 Dead At Birthday Party
It is timely considering many Colorado communities have been warned about possible flooding due to the recent water levels, and some even warned to evacuate.
“It might be sunny, it might be warm, but this water is very cold. 24 hours ago it was snow, there’s a tremendous amount of energy and a tremendous amount of danger in these rivers,” said Lt. Dan Fahrney of West Metro Fire.
Firefighters say water rescues are becoming more common in these areas because of urban sprawl, which is why teams are training.
“We’re constantly training to be there for you. And even in the 100 year events we don’t get a free pass,” Brush said.MORE NEWS: Pedro Juan Gallegos Arrested, Accused In Weekend Shooting Of Denver Police Officer
Rescue crews remind drivers to avoid standing water over roadways, largely because trees or downed power lines could be hiding below, and it doesn’t take much water to move a car quickly.