Swift-water rescue crews at the ready if waters rise

Posted at 10:50 AM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-16 12:50:33-04

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    Raleigh, NC (WRAL) — Rachel Harless is heading to a place where other people are trying to escape.

“I don’t feel nervous at all. I’m stoked about it,” the Raleigh firefighter said.

Harless is the newest member of the city’s swift water rescue team, made up of 36 firefighters from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

The team is packing up to help people facing flooding following Hurricane Florence.

“Hopefully, we can get some people out of some bad positions, or hopefully people aren’t in those bad positions so we don’t have to get them out,” she said.

The team just completed some intense water rescue training on the Neuse River last month.

Team Captain Mike Davidson says they train like the real thing, so they will be ready for the real thing.

“We respect the water,” he said. “Water is a powerful thing, and it can change what you are doing in an instant.”

Davidson, Harless and the rest of the team spent Saturday readying their gear and waiting for the call to tell them where they will serve in the coming days.

For Harless, it’s an opportunity to do what she’s been trained to do.

“I enjoy everything about it,” she said.

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