Police & Fire

Arkansas agencies to train at DeGray Lake

DEGRAY LAKE, Arkansas — Fire boat crews from across Arkansas and surrounding states (including multiple Clark County fire departments) will convene to train collaboratively on simulated water emergency scenarios at the 14th annual Arkansas Fire Boat School training event on Saturday, June 3. In all, 55 fire boats from 21 Arkansas counties and one from out of state will participate in scenarios on DeGray Lake and the nearby Caddo River.

Arkansas Fire Boat School is a training event for fire boat crews, based on real life waterway emergency scenarios. The event features staged emergency scenarios that happen in real-time. Fire boat crews are dispatched to simulated scenarios under a formal Incident Command structure, and facilitated by experts in fire boat operations and emergency response. 

 “Volunteer firefighters are heroes in communities across our great state, and this event is all about providing them with emergency response experiences and training that they can take home to apply on waterways in their response area. Arkansas Fire Boat School is extraordinary because it includes inland marine training via live scenarios that pose multiple emergency incidents and challenges that crews adapt and respond to as a fleet in real time and within a formal Incident Command structure,” says Arkansas Fire Boat School Committee Chairman, Sammy Angel.

Arkansas Fire Boat School is planned by a committee of volunteers comprised of firefighters and leaders in emergency response from across the state and representing multiple fire departments, as well as state and federal agencies. Live training scenarios on DeGray Lake for large boats will include a rigorous Wildland Fire scenario, Water Stream Operations, Defensive Driving/Serpentine Course, and a multi-accident Urban Slack-Water Scene including a simulated aircraft crash.  At the nearby Caddo River, another set of scenarios will be simulated specifically for small boats including Basic Small Boat Operations, Small Boat Defensive Driving/Serpentine Course, Victim-in-Tree Rescue, Victim-in-Water Rescue, and Victim-at-Bridge Rescue.

Arkansas Fire Boat School is made possible by countless hours of planning and generous support from Arkansas fire departments and volunteer professionals from across the state. The event operates under Arkansas Fire Boats, Inc., a 501C3 organization. Arkansas Fire Boats Inc., partners with multiple state and federal agencies to plan and host the valuable training experience including: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Agriculture Forestry Division, Arkansas Fire Training Academy, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, LifeNet, and others.

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