Alice police officers traded dry land for a day of water rescue training on Thursday; a first of many classes.
A small class of officers stepped into the pool at the City of Alice Multi-Use Complex for an intense training. Two officers joined the trainer in the pool while another kept his boots on the concrete.
"This type of training is very important because officers are always faced with various scenarios," said Sgt. Aniceto Perez with Alice police. "... and to make sure these officers are mentally and physically prepared."
Perez decided to train the officers in the 11-foot indoor pool because they have been called out to a water rescue scenario at the facility before. Officers must keep in mind that water rescues are not always in a pool. Their training will be tested during a drowning, floods, or if a vehicle is submerged in a body of water.
Officers have to make split-second decisions when it comes in any type of scenario. A water rescue is no different. Before they even jump into the water the officers must already be thinking how they are going to approach the scene safety and with the removal of the body armor, gun belt and their heavy duty work boots.
Perez said officers will use the water rescue training they learned when an incident arises, which won't always be in the pool.
So how do officers who fear water train?
Perez believes that being in the water should be second nature to humans, but he understands that is not the case for everyone.
"Jumping in the water is always the last resort," Perez told the officers. "And they should never dive into water instead step in."
Perez trained the officers on how to use ropes and other floatation devices that could help them save a person's life.
Officers must assess the situation without putting their own life at risk.
Just because an officer does not like the water doesn't mean he can't train or be useful, Perez said.