Swift Water Rescue Team trains for the worst

(Cleveland) - With flooding becoming more common in our rivers, streams, and urban neighborhoods, the Swift Water Rescue Team is seeking more members, and additional funding. 

The team is training through Friday, and conducted water rescue drills in Lake Erie at the East 72nd Street pier on Tuesday. Additional drills are being conducted in the Cuyahoga River. 

The class of 25 students from area fire departments along with 5 instructors, practiced "Live Bate Rescue", learning how to get out of trapped areas when a water rescue goes bad. 

Tri-C Instructor and Brecksville Fire Department Lt. Mark Bender says flooding is becoming more common thanks to urban sprawl. 

New suburban developments are making it more difficult for rainwater to drain, trapping people in shopping centers during prolonged thunderstorms, and creating new flood plains in what were dry neighborhoods.

 In addition to responding to local floods, Bender tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 that the team is also prepared to assist states hit by devastating tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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