Tucson Fire units rescued a person from the Pantano Wash near Kenyon Drive after a single call was made to 911 reporting someone clinging to a tree in the wash. The initial call made to 911 reported two people stuck in the wash, clinging to a tree but the caller hung up and did not answer on call back. A Swift Water Response was dispatched to the area, including crews from the technical rescue team. The first TFD crew arrived and determined that a single person was stuck in the water, not two as initially reported. Firefighters were not able to get close enough to use the ladder truck for a rescue due to the distance away from the shore. Additional firefighters were sent downstream with throw bags just in case the person was swept away. A rescue group consisting of 5 firefighters entered the wash using an in-line position technique. They reached the stranded person and then walked out together using the same technique with the person in the middle. The person was briefly checked out after getting out of the wash but had no medical complaint. The original call was made at 11:21 PM and the person was out of the water just before midnight.
During the monsoon season, washes can rise very quickly. Here are some tips for safety:
Most flash flood deaths occur in vehicles
Moving water 1-2 feet deep will carry away most vehicles and can knock a person off their feet
Keep children away from creeks and washes when heavy rain is in the area
Be especially careful at night when water depth and road conditions are harder to see
WHEN IN DOUBT, WAIT IT OUT!!