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Los Angeles Firefighters Rescue Four From LA River in Atwater Village

Monday, November 21, 2016

Atwater Village - Los Angeles Firefighters performed a rescue of four people found clinging to a tree on an island surrounded by fast flowing water in the LA River near Los Feliz Blvd.

At 2:42 AM on November 21, 2016, the LAFD received a 911 call from the stranded victims, and immediately dispatched a ground, boat, and air response to the four adult victims who were a 1/2 mile north of Los Feliz Blvd.

Approx 100 LAFD Firefighters (17 Engines & Trucks, 8 Ambulances, + Specialty Units and Command Staff) along with the Glendale FD and the Pasadena FD were called to the scene in waves. Firefighters were strategically placed at pre-planned locations along both sides of the LA river, north and south of the Los Feliz rescue point.

Due to the thick vegetation, the safest rescue operation was determined to be a LAFD Swift Water Rescue Team rather than a helicopter hoist. The specialized team boarded a inflatable boat and strategically transversed the river which was flowing up to 35 mph, to the island through bamboo trees, and provided the patients flotation devices and instruction. They were then secured in the boat and utilized rope lines to pendulum back across the flowing river to safety.

Awaiting Firefighter Paramedics medically assessed the two males and two females, determined they were not injured, however treated them for exposure to the cold and wet environment, then transported them to local hospitals in fair condition.

LAFD helicopters flew up and down the river using infrared cameras which pick up heated objects and would outline a victims body and assist locating them. Fortunately, no additional victims were located.

Dispatched Units: E44 SW44 RA844 T50 E250 E55 E201 T1 HR56 E212 E12 T12 E42 CM22 SW88 RA90 H0F H0B EM1 BC2 E90 H2 H3 UR88 E3 RA1 E4 E202 E2 T2 E203 T3 BC1 E56 RA850 E235 T35 RA835 RA35 E82 RA82 E227 T27 EM11 BC5 RA12

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