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Swiftwater Firefighter Training Delayed Until 2013

The program for Pascack Valley firefighters will train them in rescuing people in dangerous storms and other "swiftwater" conditions.

Swiftwater training for Pascack Valley firefighters, which had been scheduled for this weekend, will not take place until next spring at the earliest, according to Hillsdale Deputy Fire Chief Jason Durie.

There was apparently a scheduling issue between the Pascack Valley Fire Chiefs Association and the company which conducts the training, Durie said. The Association may choose a new date at their next meeting, but a specific one has not yet been set.

The training will prepare firefighters to deal with rescues during so-called "swiftwater" conditions, such as those in the Pascack Brook during heavy rainstorms.

United Water is paying for the training, according to company rep Rich Henning.

Westwood Councilman Jay Sciara said at a council meeting last week that he had been working with other officials to get the training for Westwood, Hillsdale and other Pascack Valley fire departments.

"If we ever experience another year like last, where we have massive amounts of water, we'll have men who are trained," Sciara said.

The Pascack Brook flooded at least four times last year, including a particularly severe flood after Hurricane Irene hit in August.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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