The Montebello Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Program was established in 1992. The winter of 1992 brought substantial amounts of rainfall, flooding, mudslides, and debris flows. There were also individuals who were swept away by the large volumes of water that was flowing in the flood control channels at the time. Local Fire Department officials through out Los Angeles County recognized the need for an Emergency Response Plan that included specially trained personnel and equipment to respond to Swiftwater and Flood Emergencies.
The Montebello Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Teams response area includes the Whittier Narrows Flood Control Dam, Six miles of concrete lined flood control channel, (Rio Hondo River) and several square miles of Water Reclamation Spreading Grounds. The Montebello Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Team also has the ability to respond anywhere in California to Swiftwater or flood emergencies if needed.
The Montebello Fire Department would like to remind everyone that the Whittier Narrows Flood Control Dam, Rio Hondo River, Water Reclamation Spreading Grounds, and all other Los Angeles County Flood Control Channels are meant to carry large amounts of water from the city to the ocean very quickly and are extremely dangerous places to be when they are full of water. STAY OUT AND STAY ALIVE!!!