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Firefighters hit the water for rescue training in Auburn and Throop

Boats ripped through the Owasco River as a part of swift water rescue training in Auburn Saturday morning.

The Auburn Fire Department and personnel from other area fire stations began boat rescue training the Miller Street dam, while swift water training involving swimmers was conducted in Throop. Emergency equipment and boats came from Cayuga County Emergency Services.

Mark Fritz, assistant chief for the Auburn department, said before the training began that since there is a river running through the city, it is important for rescue personnel to be knowledgeable on what to do when helping out in such fast-paced situations.

"Water rescue is very complicated, it's dangerous and you really have to know what to do because you don't want to be a victim yourself," Fritz said.

Assistant chief Mike Grady, who went back back and forth between the training site, said the entire operation was paid for by a $100,000 state grant, which purchased the vehicle pulling the trailer, the boats and the training. He noted there have been different rescue operations out on the waters in the last few years. He said those at the boat training would tackle the other water training, and vice versa, on Sunday.

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