Phoenix Fire Dept. releases new video of water rescue

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The Phoenix Fire Department used a helicopter to rescue two men from a trapped SUV on Saturday. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department) The Phoenix Fire Department used a helicopter to rescue two men from a trapped SUV on Saturday. (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Phoenix Fire Department released new video of a swift water rescue team saving one of two people trapped inside an SUV in a flooded wash.

The rescue happened in the area of 52nd Street and New River Road on Saturday morning.

There were a father and a son inside the small, red SUV.

“The back wheels skid out, the water filled up, swung around, took us downstream quick,” said Richard Alm, who was rescued. 

The strength of the raging waters pushed the vehicle about 100 yards before rescuers could anchor it.

[RAW VIDEO: Firefighters rescue man from trapped SUV]

"The people appeared to be in possible imminent danger so we decided to use the helicopter to basically not put their lives in any more risk than necessary," says Phoenix Fire Capt. Tupac Enrique. 

The video shows a firefighter being flown over the SUV. He then places a life preserver on the man, who already has some safety equipment on. The firefighter then straps him into his harness and the pair were flown to dry land.

The other man was also flown to safety.

Both were not hurt.

Alm says they underestimated the power of the water and it hit them quick 

"It went real fast out of control," said Alm.

Enrique said water can be unpredictable and dominating. 

"Water is a very powerful force once it starts moving. You have no real control over it. The car can become basically like a raft temporarily and you have no idea what it's gonna do once it starts moving in the water," Enrique said.

Alm said it was a scary experience but he and his father are grateful to the rescue crew for saving them. 

"They did a tremendous job," Alm said.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, this was one of at least five water rescues that happened on Saturday morning.

[READ MORE: Crews respond to multiple water rescues Saturday]

Heavy rains associated with Winter Storm Kori hit Maricopa County in mid-afternoon Friday and intensified throughout the evening. The northwest Valley had significant rainfall leading to flash flooding in and around washes.   

[READ MORE: Winter storm brings water rescues; snow buries northern AZ]

MCSO wants to remind the public that the ground is saturated and flash flooding is active throughout Maricopa County. Remember, don't ever drive into a flooded wash.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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