Published 09 April 2012
By: Lezlie Johnson
Local officers and volunteers are training now to use a new airboat on water near the Larimore Dam.
Newcomers on the Grand Forks Water Operations Team trained today to help out during spring flooding throughout the State.
As flood waters rise, both law enforcement and emergency services need a way to get to those who may need help.
“In the past we’ve really had difficulties being able to get out during floods and doing things,” Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost said.
Today, eight people are training to make sure help is there.
“Flooding towns, growing up in the area, all the floodwaters, you got fences, posts, polls, power lines, you have to be able to get around the stuff in a moments notice,” Assistant Commander for Water Operations Harold Narlock said.
The Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department just received a second airboat and set up an obstacle course for trainees to wind, turn, and make their way through.
“It’s all about tight, small quarters and practicing precision operation,” Narlock said.
This new airboat cost nearly 65-thousand dollars and was funded through a grant from the North Dakota Emergency Services.
“We received a $292,000 grant and with that we were able to purchase another airboat, a couple pickups and dive gear for a number of our divers,” Rost said.
Once operatives are certified, they will not only help people in the Grand Forks area, but all over the state.
“The 1st airboat was out in Bismarck, Minot and Mandan most of the summer and that is part of why we’re doing the course is because of the precision just driving between the neighborhoods,” Water Rescue Team Commander Corporal Tom Inocencio said.
The department received their first airboat a little over one year ago.