Eagle Valley: Firefighters join river guides for rescues | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley: Firefighters join river guides for rescues

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” Firefighters will work with a local business to rescue people in rivers this year as a large amount of melting snow this spring is expected to make rivers faster and rapids bigger.

Firefighters from the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and river guides from Timberline Tours will train together and rescue kayakers, rafters and other boaters who get in trouble this year.

Greater Eagle firefighters have been doing river rescues for four years, said Deputy Chief Chris Blankenship of Greater Eagle Fire. With heavy spring runoff expected, firefighters felt they could do rescues better with experienced river guides who know the rivers well, Blankenship said.

“The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know,” Blankenship said. “So we wanted to keep pushing to provide the best customer service we can.”

River guides will be paddling rivers every day and if they see boaters in trouble, they can respond right away, he said.

“It’s something they’re doing as a community service free of charge to the fire department, which is really nice,” Blankenship said.

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