Nashville OEM prepared to keep you safe during flash flooding


The night of Feb. 6 brought a record-breaking four inches of rain to Nashville. Unfortunately, the torrential rain also brought flash flooding to multiple locations.

Water moved in swiftly stranding motorists at the Fairgrounds off of Nolensville Pike in Nashville. A total of nine people were rescued that night from the rising waters.

Swift water technicians from the Office of Emergency Management  (OEM) were ready that night with life-saving equipment and swift water rescue techniques. 

David Crane, Captain of the Emergency Support Unit at OEM recalled that night for News 2.

“In that scenario we were lucky in that the water was not too deep to handle. We had a team that was able to get together and walk to the victim. We always carry PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that we wear, we carry sets for our victims. When we make contact with a victim, we put a life jacket on them and then you put a helmet on them and walk them out as needed.”

OEM has a variety of specialized equipment that aids in these swift water rescues.

Captain Mike Russell showed News 2 the various boats and other equipment used in these rescues.

The initial training for swift water technicians takes between six and seven days. One day each month, swift water technicians participate in additional Water Ops training no matter the weather or time of year. These technicians are there to keep you safe. 

If you are in danger and are thinking about reaching out for help, Russell wants you to remember “don’t ever hesitate to call. We can always turn around and go back home.”

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