DES MOINES - Fire officials in Des Moines say they’re seeing an usual trend in river rescues.
"I think people truly underestimate their chances of getting killed because they are tremendous when they get into water like that," said Lt. Bob Suarez with the Des Moines Fire Department.
The DSMFD Water Emergency Teams have responded to 8 calls in just the last three weeks, a major jump from 14 in all of 2014.
“They're becoming much more frequent,” Suarez said. “I don't think there's any question, this early in the summer, there's going to be more."
In several cases, the person willingly jumped off a bridge into the water below.
"The most frustrating part is when it ends up not materializing into anything, when our resources are spent going after someone who truly isn’t in trouble, who doesn’t respect the law and has gone in the river to swim."
For taxpayers, these rescues don't cost much: just tanks of gas for the boats. But it can cost a lot more for a person somewhere else who is truly in danger.
Suarez uses Sunday’s rescue in the Des Moines River as an example for what could have been.
"On Sunday, when they were trying to find this lady, the heart attack next door wasn't going to be responded to from this station or the fire across the street,” he said. “We'd have to bring in additional resources from somewhere else."
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