The Youghiogheny River’s whitewater rapids took center stage earlier this month when Region 13 water rescue teams came to Ohiopyle State Park to earn Swiftwater Rescue Technician certifications. (SRT).
Hosted by Fayette County’s Swiftwater Rescue Team, “Paddling the Fall Foliage” brought together nearly 50 participants from 11 teams across western Pennsylvania.
SRTs are emergency responders who have completed Pennsylvania Fishing and Boating Commission training programs and are qualified to enter whitewater conditions, such as the Ohiopyle Rapids, for rescue operations. Participants spent their day on the river learning to read water dynamics, brushing up on their paddling skills through multiple classes of rapids, and practicing their self-rescue skills in swimmers’ rapids.
All four rafting outfitters from Ohiopyle Borough participated, with nearly 30 professional guides leading the exercises. The people depicted were Laurel Highlands River Tours, Ohiopyle Trading Post, Whitewater Adventures and Wilderness Voyagers.
Also in attendance were staff and volunteers from the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency, Uniontown Salvation Army Disaster Services and Fayette EMS. The Salvation Army provided hot drinks and lunch for the event.
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