Atlanta police and firefighters have teamed up to form a water rescue unit.
Firefighters trained how to save people from water are getting assistance from the police department's helicopter. Friday, the unit practiced rescuing people at a lake in southwest Atlanta.
"This is a first in history I guess you could call it," said Terry Mulkey, a pilot with the Atlanta Police Department's aviation department. "If we hadn't have had this aircraft here, we wouldn't be able to do this. It would have been all on the fire department and now that we can work together using the same resources, it is just amazing."
"Today you are going to be seeing people rescued off the top of a ramp which is going to simulate a rooftop in flood situations," said Capt. Anthony Dobson, with the Atlanta Fire Department.
A.P.D. used a grant to buy a wench for the helicopter which allowed it to hoist people out of the water and the ramp.
"The helicopter is going to come in, they will rescue and pick people off the top of that rooftop and bring them into safety to the landing zone," said Dobson.
The exercise was the culmination of a week of intensive training in the classroom and harsh weather conditions.
"Not only are they going to have to endure the cold water, they are going to have to endure the water wash that is coming down on top of them caused by the huey's blades," said Mulkey.
Officials said the new team will save lives, improve efficiency and not cost the city any additional money.
"It's good for the citizens of Atlanta and we've come together so the city should be proud," said Dobson.
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