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YPG hosts SwiftWater Rescue training for several local fire departments

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Swiftwater Institute trained several local fire departments on how to save people who are stuck in a canal or other bodies of water with Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) hosting.

The training prepared first responders with what to do in water related emergency situations.

“This is going to provide the relevant knowledge to the materials and the techniques that are current for right now a lot of the materials that we’re using. They do expire, they have shelf-lives to them and there’s always good technologies coming out,” said YPG Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Kelly.

This will help YPG, City of Yuma Fire Department (YPD), Martinez Lake Fire District (MLFD), and the MCAS Crash and Fire Rescue in attendance to work alongside each other in the future, especially with the mutual aid agreements that are in place.

“We’re able to bring them in and… and join us in the training…so we can have...a common operational picture…We can write and we can then in turn turn around and do mutual training events and we can also do a mutual response plans,” said Gerald Ball, the YPG Fire Department Fire Chief.

Despite being in the middle of a desert, there are plenty of bodies of water around the Yuma area and when not careful, these can be very dangerous.

“Definitely the summer time we see a lot of activity out here…lot of boating accidents and things like that so…uh, definitely any kind of training that’s going to enhance and improve uh our ability to respond and be more effective is going to be crucial for our…our citizens here,” said Jairo Magana, a Fire Captain with YPG.

The class and training lasted three days as it prepared these first responders and how to effectively respond to swift water emergencies.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County

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Eduardo Morales

Eduardo Morales joined KYMA as a reporter in September 2023. If you have any story ideas or tips, email him at


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