JOHNSTON, Iowa — Water rescue and training is nothing new to the Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department, but one thing it’s been missing is a boat.
This weekend, the department trained on Beaver Creek with its new inflatable boat. The raft is meant to be used in areas with shallow water or on flooded roadways. Previously, the department relied solely on jet skis to perform rescue missions.
“There’s just not enough water for them. We don’t have a ramp access, they are very heavy, we can’t carry them, and so we need an actual boat ramp to be able to deploy those,” said fire chief Jim Clark.
Clark says the new addition to the department means it will no longer have to heavily rely on the Des Moines Fire Department for water-related emergency situations.
The purchase of the boat and training come at a crucial time for the department. The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is performing a study to determine if they want to turn Beaver Creek into a river trail to be used by people on paddle boards or kayaks. Clark says this training is meant to serve as a proactive approach.
“We just know that there is going to be more use of it, so having these rescue capabilities is something that we’re much looking forward to, to be able to respond if there is that need,” said Clark.
The department has not performed a water at the creek in several years.