By Joe Reavis
Training paid dividends early Friday morning when the Swift Water Rescue Team of Wylie Fire-Rescue took its hovercraft into floodwaters to retrieve a motorist stranded on Miles Road in Sachse.
The successful rescue came about 6:30 a.m. as a woman, whose vehicle was submerged, was assisted off the roof of her vehicle into the hovercraft and taken to safety. The woman had attempted to negotiate a flooded road when her vehicle stalled.
Wylie Fire Chief Brent Parker reports that the department received a call from Sachse to help a police officer who was also stranded in the same area, but ended up rescuing the woman because the threat to her was greater.
“Hers was the more imminent danger,” Parker said.
The chief explains that the officer became trapped by rising floodwater which was lapping at the doors of his patrol unit, while the woman’s car was already submerged. A Department of Public Safety helicopter crew rescued the police officer.
Parker noted that the Garland Swift Water Rescue Team, with which Wylie officers train, also was at the scene of the woman’s rescue.
In spite of all the flooding in the area over the past several weeks, the fire chief reported that the only emergency call in which his personnel were active was the Friday morning event.
He explained that flooding tended to occur during nighttime storms and, for the most part, waters had receded from roads by the time traffic developed for morning commutes.
Wylie rescue personnel were called for standby in Celina and McKinney recently but did not have to put their skills to work.