Minnehaha County Emergency Management rescues one of it's own in - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Minnehaha County Emergency Management rescues one of it's own in near drowning incident

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 A 43-year-old Minnehaha County volunteer is still hospitalized after nearly drowning Thursday night.    

He was participating in a training exercise in the water at family park.

The incident has many asking questions and looking for answers.

Minnehaha County Emergency Management hasn't identified the volunteer who was injured Thursday night.

But Friday, Sioux Falls Police have his diving equipment to determine if there might have been some type of malfunction, while County Emergency Management deals with an emotional time for the team.

It started out as an ordinary training session for the Minnehaha County dive team. It didn't end as expected but they're prepared for situations like these.

Minnehaha County Emergency Management director Lynn DeYoung said "they're there to go from training, to training, to training, and keep on training, and because they have to do that, however, they also indicated that quick jump from training to response mode was seamless.  As a result, hopefully we see the outcome that we want in this situation."

A volunteer with Minnehaha County Emergency Management nearly drowned during a training exercise at family park in west Sioux Falls Thursday night.

"The one thing that does make all of the dives in this area difficult is visibility, not only visibility of the water, the divers last night described it as pitch black," DeYoung said.

It was an emotional time for those who rescue the public, who were now rescuing one of their own.

"We brought in a debriefing team, late last night. As you can see it's emotional for me. I wasn't there, but some of them handle it different than others. We brought that team in, they did a quick debriefing last night, but it's tough on them," DeYoung said.

Whether it was equipment failure or a medical incident, there are many questions about what happened, yet to be answered.

"Do we have the right equipment, do we have the right training, and just take a comprehensive look at the program and see was there something we could have done differently, was there something we could have done better, or was there no solution to this problem and is there no way it could have been prevented," DeYoung said.

DeYoung said the volunteer who was injured is an experienced diver.  He's been with the county since 2010.

Minnehaha County Emergency Management said this incident serves as a reminder to all of us to take precautions when around water.
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