Hometown Hero: Nashville OEM Swift Water Rescue Team

2 Gives Back

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – More than seven inches of rain falls on Sunday, March 28th, leading to the Nashville Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management Swift Water Rescue teams being deployed.

“We had crews all over the city rescuing people from cars, from their homes that were in the flood waters,” said Pete Griffin.

That’s because calm creeks in Davidson County turned into deep raging rivers, putting a Metro Nashville police officer and a man trying to help that officer in peril.

“I could see at the bottom of a tree a head that was sticking out of the water and then the Metro Nashville Police Department patch on his shoulder. So, we knew that his situation was certainly urgent let alone that he had been in there for a while,” Pete Griffin describes. “The water was very fast and was difficult to keep the boat near where they were let alone to get to where they were because of all the trees there but the sergeant did and was able to get ourselves close enough to him that I was able to reach down where the police officer and just grabbed him by the shirt with one hand and have the other hand grabbing on to the boat so I didn’t get pulled into the water and just said to him you know grab on to my arm as best you can and as he did I just pulled him into the boat.”

And they were able to rescue the good Samaritan trying to help the officer.

“I think that that’s a good thing to remember is that a lot of times even though the intentions are good, um people will often find themselves needing rescue or maybe even worse if they try to enter flood waters without the proper training,” said Griffin.

These were just two of the 130 rescues made across Davidson County that Sunday. Five people died.

Whether it be day or night, Swift Water Rescue Team members say it’s vital to remember that flood waters are dangerous and everyone should learn a lifesaving lesson from the March 28th flooding.

“It doesn’t take more than just a couple of inches to knock a person off of their feet, uh, six to eight inches of strong moving water could potentially sweep off a newer smaller vehicle. You get higher than up around a foot and a full-size vehicle or small truck could easily get swept away in an absolute heartbeat and unfortunately, we did see that exact scenario back in March,” said Major David Crane.

“One of the most important things that we have said many times, people have heard many times and I’ll be glad to repeat it over and over and over and that is: Turn around, don’t drown. So, we honor the Metro Nashville Fire Department and Office of Emergency Management Swift Water Rescue Teams as our News 2 Gives Back Hometown Heroes for the month of April, presented by Tristar Health, for their dedication to perform searches and rescues in hazardous water environments in order to save lives.”

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