Natrona County Fire District and Sheriff’s Office work together on water rescue in Platte River

The Natrona County Fire District logo.
The Natrona County Fire District logo.(Katie Reed)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 8:16 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Release) - On Thursday, June 23rd at approximately 2:55pm, the Natrona County Fire District was dispatched for a water rescue in the Bessemer Bend area of Natrona County. Reporting party stated that her friend had been separated from her kayak and was caught along the bank, down river one mile from the Bessemer Bend River Access. The female patient was uninjured and was wearing a life jacket.

NCFD Squad 7 responded to the scene, along with multiple Natrona County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) deputies and a Banner Health (Wyoming Medical Center) ambulance. NCFD Squad 7 arrived at the Bessemer Bend River Access and deployed their rapid deployment craft (RDC: see photo below) with two firefighters and made their way downstream to the patient.

During the incident, multiple NCSO deputies spread out along the river area and began searching for the patient, her kayak and the RP of the incident; who was on the shore, uninjured but downstream from the location of the incident. NCSO also responded with their air boat (see below) as a secondary rescue craft. The air boat was placed on standby when it arrived on scene but was not used during the incident.

Visible and verbal contact was made by Squad 7 boat personnel with the patient; who was holding onto bushes, near a steep embankment, on a deep section of the river. The boat crew was able to rescue the patient and place her into the RDC. One of the NCSO deputies’ trucks was spotted along the river just downstream from the patient rescue point. The Squad 7 boat crew, with the patient safely in the boat, banked the boat into an access point near the area of the truck. The crew and patient were able to walk to the deputy’s truck.

The patient’s kayak and the reporting party were located downstream by deputies and also brought to the NCSO truck. The patient, the reporting party, emergency personnel, kayaks and gear were transported to a rendezvous point; where the waiting Banner-WMC ambulance was staged for patient evaluation. The patient was cleared by medical personnel on scene and NCSO deputies transported the original patient and the reporting party with kayaks back to their vehicle.

The Natrona County Fire district would like to thank all agencies involved with this incident. This water rescue was another excellent example of interagency cohesion; emergency crews working together to make sure our citizens and visitors alike are safe and in good hands when emergency situations arise here in Natrona County. This incident highlights a great safety point for the summer: when on the river, or on any body of water, think safe and always wear a life jacket!

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