Swiftwater & Flood Rescue Operations

A SBVFD member participates in swiftwater rescue training

The Sound Beach Technical Rescue Team is in the process of forming one of the areas first swiftwater and flood rescue teams. While the Department has a trained and equipped SCUBA Rescue and Recovery Team, the new swiftwater rescue component will be uniquely trained and equipped to respond to water rescue emergencies in fast-moving water. Currently, there is no such asset within the Town.

While many of Greenwich’s inland waterways are calm throughout most of the year, the Town has experienced a number of severe weather incidents warranting the creation of such a specialized team. Most recently, the Town experienced a Nor ‘easter in April, 2006. The storm caused over $30 million in damages across the State and brought significant flash flooding throughout Greenwich. Members of the Sound Beach Technical Rescue Team were called across Town to help with evacuating residents and rescuing trapped civilians in the rising water. The flooding was so severe that many areas in Byram and Cos Cob could only be accessed by personnel via boat.

Initial Equipment and Training

The Sound Beach Technical Rescue Team has begun purchasing specialized swift-water rescue equipment including dry-suits, helmets and a quick-entry boat. Training for the team is set to begin mid-late 2008.

Initial funding for the purchase of equipment and training was made possible through a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) the department received in December, 2007. The grant is expected to cover approximately 20-30% of the initial start-up costs to fully equip and train the Department to become a NIMS Type II swift-water rescue team. The Sound Beach Technical Rescue Team is seeking additional financial support from members of the community in order to further develop the program. If you are interested in donating to the department, please visit our Support SBVFD section.

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