Firefighters pull off dramatic water rescue

March 1, 2010 9:42:36 PM PST
Conroe firefighters jumped into action Monday morning to rescue a man during hard rains. Now we hear from the heroes about their live-saving actions. Dangling from a ladder truck, a Conroe firefighter is about to try and save a man's life, but not before putting his own at risk.

"In a creek like that, you can get entangled in the brush. And that creek actually terminates and goes under the I-45 roadway, so we worry about getting swept into culverts," said Lt. Steve Cottar of the Conroe Fire Department.

It was 7am when the call came in. A man was pinned against a pylon on Alligator Creek, whitewater crashing around him. A firefighter was outfitted with a harness and lowered down. The dashboard camera on the truck doesn't catch the firefighter outfitting the victim, but you can see them slowly making their ascent up and toward the embankment. The victim was trying to gain his footing.

"He was pretty shook up. He was in the water for quite a while. It was cold water, so he was borderline hypothermic," said firefighter Jeremy Copus.

Back on land, firefighters and the victim breathed a sigh of relief. And with the swift water rescue caught on tape, it will soon become a training tool.

"We'll look at the footage, and it will certainly help our training," said Lt. Cottar.

The firefighter who performed Monday's water rescue is Luke Skelton. He's been with the fire department about three years and we are told that was his first swift water rescue, and it was a success.

The patient we're told was a little shaken up and a little cold but otherwise OK. He was transported to an area hospital as a precaution.