Champaign Fire Department put their skills to the test Tuesday by gearing up to practice water rescue situations.
Even though there aren't too many bodies of water in Champaign County, they said drowning can still be common, especially in swimming pools or even bathtubs.
That's why they suit up and come out to practice their skills at least twice a year. So, when the big day comes, they are ready.
“We don't have a lot of natural bodies of water in Champaign. However, there are over 60 bodies of water in Champaign. Not counting backyard pools,” said Lieutenant JP Childer. “So, the chance or risk of drowning is very real."
For new firefighter Evan Brewbaker, this was his first time rescuing a live victim. He said it takes a lot of teamwork.
“It's not easy, but you put the gear on and you go to work,” he said. “You take it one step at a time. You accomplish task after task and you just check the boxes,”
And when they jump in for the rescue, there can be unknown challenges like undercurrents.