Tucson firefighters answer 3 swift water rescue calls in an hour

2013-07-20T18:02:00Z 2013-08-13T11:54:49Z Tucson firefighters answer 3 swift water rescue calls in an hourKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 20, 2013 6:02 pm  • 

Saturday’s monsoon took Tucson by storm and kept firefighters busy as they responded to three swift water rescue calls in less than an hour.

The first call for help came in at about 3:20 p.m., Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said in a news release. A man was trapped in a red Mazda near East Creek Street and South Bonanza Avenue just south of East Golf Links Road. By the time firefighters arrived, the driver had been assisted by a Tucson police officer and the Mazda had been swept away by the rushing water.

The second call came in 15 minutes later when someone reported seeing a woman who under a bridge get swept away in the Rose Hill Wash near the 600 block of North Mann Avenue east of St. Joseph’s Hospital. While TFD crews looked for the woman in the wash, Tucson Police Department helicopter pilots searched from the air. A woman in her 40s and covered in sand was pulled from the water just north of where she went into the wash. She was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, Baker said.

Just before 4 p.m., another call came in reporting a teen boy stuck in the middle of a wash near South Pantano Parkway and East Golf Links Road. The 17-year-old was able to find a spot in the wash where he could safely walk out.

Because washes can rise quickly during monsoon season, Baker has one overriding message for motorists and pedestrians: “When in doubt, wait it out!”

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