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The County of Los Angeles Fire Department staffs special Swiftwater Rescue Teams in strategically located fire stations throughout Los Angeles County during and after extreme rainfall events. These teams are staffed by specially trained and equipped fire fighters and lifeguards to augment the Department’s daily Urban Search and Rescue and Lifeguard staffing.

Swiftwater Rescue personnel are placed on the Department’s helicopters, as well as ground vehicles, to cover the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel Valley, Malibu, and all stretches of the Los Angeles River system in the Department’s jurisdiction.

Equipped with wet suits, personal flotation devices, helmets, and specially designed water rescue devices, the Department’s Swiftwater Rescue personnel have the ability to create land-based water rescue systems, as well as to perform water-based contact rescues, in order to save victims trapped in the many natural and man-made waterways in Los Angeles County.