Water Rescue
By Captain Mike Oswald
October 1, 2021

Due to the increase in strong storms and destructive flooding over the last decade, Cheltenham Fire Company has dedicated a significant amount of volunteer time and personnel to water rescue operations to better serve the Cheltenham community.

In September the Cheltenham Fire Company hosted a Water Rescue and Emergency Response (WRER) certification class. WRER is a part of the PA Fish and Boat Commission Water Rescue Curriculum teaching swiftwater rescue techniques, focusing on shore based and self-rescue operations. The 16 hour certification consists of in station classroom time with a written test, a timed swimming test in a local pool, and a practical test on the river.

The Cheltenham group with some friends from Rockledge, Oreland, and Upper Gwynedd Fire companies gave up their Friday night and Saturday for the classroom and swim tests, and mother nature was smiling and gave us perfect weather for our skills day on the Schuylkill River Sunday. The river was running strong and the class had to work hard, but they persevered and did a great job!