OKLAHOMA CITY - Members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard participated last week in water rescue training in Oklahoma City as part of a newly formed rescue task force.

Oklahoma Task Force One is composed of members of the Tulsa, Verdigris, Norman and Oklahoma City fire departments, along with members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

The task force’s firefighters are certified rescue divers and paramedics who filled the roles of flood victims and rescue swimmers during the exercise.

Oklahoma Army National Guard helicopters and guardsmen from Army Aviation Support Facility in Tulsa and Lexington spent most of the day hovering over the Oklahoma Riversport complex in Oklahoma City, hoisting rescue divers from the Oklahoma River.

Task Force One, which officially began operations in October, specializes in rescuing civilians from deadly situations such as open and rapid water, lost hikers, collapsed trenches, and rooftop and post-natural-disaster rescues, among others.

[Story written by Oklahoma Army National Guard Major Geoff Legler]