Despite sunny skies, monsoon rescue training begins

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Despite sunny skies, monsoon rescue training begins

By Aaron Brackett. CREATED Jun 10, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The countdown is on -- just 5 days until the official start of monsoon. While there aren't clouds yet, first responders are preparing for nature's fury.

Water rescues are a scene all too common across southern Arizona during monsoon, but the flooding doesn't have to lead to tragedy according to Dustin Krugel of the Arizona DOT. "Drivers need to take extra precaution," said Krugel. "If there is significant amount of water on the roadway, its just not worth risking your car and potentially getting stuck into one of these floods and not only that, it could potentially save your life."

For firefighters, training has already taken place so first responders can be prepared before the first drops hit the ground.

The weather is going to bring rescues, and that's not if its when it happens," said Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker. "We have to be proactive and make sure everybody is fresh on the latest techniques that we are using and also the equipment. With athletics you practice practice practice, that way when the game takes place, you are not thinking, you are reacting and it's the same with monsoons and rescues."

-- and rescues are just what firefighters are hoping to avoid this upcoming season.

On average flash floods claim over 100 lives per year, several of those in Arizona, and with our severe weather season just around the corner, first responders have one message: turn around, don't drown.