A division of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Swiftwater Rescue team was founded after the 1992 drowning of Adam Bischoff, a local 15-year-old whose failed rescue and eventual death in the river was captured by news cameras and watched by tens of thousands. In the aftermath of Bischoff's death, several "drop sites" were built along the river, allowing rescue workers to throw inflatable devices to victims, while helicopters and water craft were made available for rescues at the river's wider points. Today the Swiftwater Rescue team numbers almost 50 members, and boasts an array of hardware and resources that rivals any division in the LAFD.
(In addition to the videos above, Departures Student Producer Geovanni Cali also had a chance to interview Captain White. Click here to read his impressions.)
An overview of the Swiftwater Rescue Team.
The various water hazards in the LA River.