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Rescue Of Boys From Tulsa Creek A Reminder Of Storm Drain Danger

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Every four months Tulsa firefighters take to the Arkansas River to train for high water rescues. But Wednesday, they had to do a real rescue. Every four months Tulsa firefighters take to the Arkansas River to train for high water rescues. But Wednesday, they had to do a real rescue.
"Two feet of water can move a vehicle down the river," said Tulsa Fire's Dan Newbury. "Two feet of water can move a vehicle down the river," said Tulsa Fire's Dan Newbury.
When the firefighters train in the Arkansas River, they practice different types of rescues, like the "throw, row and go" method. When the firefighters train in the Arkansas River, they practice different types of rescues, like the "throw, row and go" method.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

With the recent rain we've had, drainage ditches are filling up fast. Wednesday, Tulsa firefighters had to rescue two young boys from the rapid water.

Every four months Tulsa firefighters take to the Arkansas River to train for high water rescues. But Wednesday, they had to do a real rescue.

"They were down there, trapped under the concrete under the bridge," said Capt. Jerry Gibbens.

Gibbens said two brothers were playing in the creek near 21st Street and I-44 when the younger boy fell into the water.

"It had actually gone down several inches from the time that they actually went in the water to the time we got here," Gibbens said.

6/5/2013 Related Story: Two Boys Rescued From East Tulsa Creek

The City of Tulsa added the drainage ditches decades ago to help prevent flooding. The current can travel 10 to 15 miles per hour.

"Two feet of water can move a vehicle down the river," said Tulsa Fire's Dan Newbury.

When the firefighters train in the Arkansas River, they practice different types of rescues, like the "throw, row and go" method.

"At that point, he'd throw it at their feet and they hold onto the rope and we're going to reel them into the boat," Newbury said.

Obstructions in the water, like cars or a bridge, can create dangerous swirling eddies.

"That's why we need to stay as sharp as we can with our water rescue skills," Newbury said.

Fire crews say this skill could have been useful in Wednesday's rescue.

"If we would have had a big water crossing today where those kids were, we would have done the same thing. We would have gone to right where they were under the bridge, and they would have been able to walk right on the boat," he said.

Although no one was hurt in this rescue, first responders say it was an important reminder for anyone who thinks playing in a ditch is a good idea.

"Parents, keep your kids away from these things. They're very dangerous and these two young men are very lucky," Gibbens said.

EMSA said both boys are in good condition.

The Tulsa Fire Department will head to the Illinois River next week for more water training.

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