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Rescue Teams Brave Ouachita River

Training for first responders teaches them lessons in handling flood waters.
MALVERN, AR - With the blow of a whistle, responders are released into the swift moving water of the Ouachita River.

"The responders in the class learn quickly that they cannot beat the water, so we teach them to work with the water," explains Mark Clippinger.

Clippinger is going on day three of training search and rescue responders from all over central and southwest Arkansas.

The responders go through a number of lifelike situations in swift water rescue.

"There are not that many of us trained in the state for it on flood waters and stuff like that and it's really important for us in our counties," says Clark County responder James Tate.

But instructor Clippinger says the most important thing is making sure the responders can take care of themselves.

"We got to teach these guys how to manage themselves, how to protect themselves first. They can't go out and rescue victims or assist people who are in trouble if they can't help themselves" says Clippinger.

With every grueling task the responders better prepare themselves for the day when these waters are no longer a training ground.
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