Water Rescues

Possibly eligible for TCOLE 3891

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Course Goal

To explain different types of water rescues and the questions and instructions for callers.

A water rescue recently made national news when the Telecommunicator scolded the caller for driving into the high water, is rude throughout the call, and ultimately tells the caller to "shut-up." Sadly, the caller died because, despite being on the phone for over 20 minutes, the Telecommunicator never had an exact location for the victim.


Water rescues are low-frequency, high-risk calls for the person involved, bystanders, and responders. 

Time is critical in saving a person who is struggling or has been swept away in water.


Course Documentation

  • Online Course Acknowledgement
  • Expectations for Online Students
  • Water Rescues Learning Objectives
  • Water Rescues Worksheet



  • Introduction
  • Video Transcript: Photographer Makes Life Saving Call
  • Video: Photographer makes life-saving 911 call
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Drowning Statistics


  • Drowning Statistics.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Hospital Raises Awareness on Drowning Dangers
  • Video: Hospital Raises Awareness on Drowning Dangers
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Swift Water Rescues


  • Swift Water Rescues.pdf
  • Video: Risky swift water rescue caught on camera
  • Video: Dramatic water rescue caught on camera in Oklahoma City
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Surface Water Rescues


  • Surface Water Rescues.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Preventing Drownings The Unseen Dangers in Rivers and Lakes
  • Video: Preventing drownings_ Unseen dangers in rivers and lakes
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Rescue vs Recovery


  • Water Rescues Rescue vs Recovery.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Crews Work to Recover Drowning Victim
  • Video: Crews work to recover drowning victim at Douglas Lake
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Questions and Instructions for Callers


  • Questions and Instructions for Callers.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Drowning 9-1-1 Call Marshalltown, Iowa
  • Video: Drowning 9-1-1 Call
  • Video Transcript: 911 Dispatcher Meets Mom She Helped Save
  • Video: 9-1-1 Dispatcher Meets Mom She Helped Save in Flood
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Additional Considerations


  • Additional Considerations.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Firefighters Lack Swift Water Training and Resources
  • Video: Firefighters Lack Swift Water Training and Resources
  • Knowledge Checkpoint



  • Conclusion.pdf
  • Video Transcript: 9-1-1 Dispatcher Mocks Drowning Woman
  • Video: 9-1-1 Dispatcher Mocks Drowning Woman
  • Note About Previous Video
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Final Exam

  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Course Evaluation

  • Course Evaluation

About Your Instructor

Tina L.  Chaffin

Tina L. Chaffin

9-1-1 Training Specialist

I have over 22 years of experience as a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator/Trainer. I have experience in PSAPs large and small. I currently work part-time in a PSAP to retain my skills and industry knowledge.

I am passionate about training and public education. 

I currently hold the following certifications NENA ENP, APCO RPL, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Master Telecommunicator and Advanced Instructor, Texas Department of Public Safety TCIC/TLETS Instructor, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Instructor.



Learning Objectives

Discuss statistics related to drownings.

Recognize indications of a swift rescue.

Explain a surface water rescue.

Differentiate between a rescue and a recovery.

List questions for callers requesting a water rescue.

Explain instructions for callers involved in a water rescue.