(Lawrenceville, Ga., July 13, 2019) – Firefighters and police responded on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 4:52pm to a multi-victim river rescue incident on the Alcovy River at Freemans Mill Park. The park is located in the 1400 block of Alcovy Road, SE in unincorporated Lawrenceville. The caller to 911 was a frantic female who advised that multiple children were stranded in the river rapids.

Engine-16 was the first unit to arrive at the scene. The crew was immediately met with 1-adult and 10-children that were in immediate danger in the water. There was a group of children on the rocks below the falls and a father and child on top of the falls in the middle of the river. The river was rain swollen due to a recent thunderstorm, which created treacherous rapids and swift current conditions. 

As additional units were responding to the scene, the crew of Engine-16 and Engine-15, made an immediate rescue of a child who was about to go over the top of the falls to an approximate 10-foot drop in raging waters. Two firefighters donned their PFD’s, tethered to a rope, and entered the water to gain access to the child. The firefighters were able to bring the child safely back to shore.

The other children stranded on the rocks were successfully removed from the water by the additional fire crews. The children were on the rocks in the middle of the river below the rapids. Fire crews deployed rope rescue bags and established down-river safety points to remove the children. Firefighters were able to get lifejackets out to part of the group as they awaited rescue.

The crew of Engine-31 and Swiftwater-14 were able to affect the rescue of a father and son who were in immediate danger of going over the top of the falls and being swept away by the swift current.

Per the Incident Commander, crews were able to successfully rescue all eleven people from the river by 5:51pm. The group was assessed by paramedics and transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. There were no obvious injuries noted.

The group was believed to be part of a large multi-family gathering that was picnicking near the edge of the river. They were located at the bottom of the trail near the watermill. Signs posted in the area warn patrons not to enter the water.

This was a successful river rescue operation by multiple units at the scene. The brave actions of the firefighters kept the situation from becoming a tragedy for the families involved.            

The Fire-PIO is unable to identify the individuals involved or provide specific injury information due to Federal Patient Privacy Laws known as HIPAA.

EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 3-Engines, 1-Squad, 1-Ladder Truck, 4-Medic Units, 1-Special Response Unit, 1-Swiftwater Rescue Unit, 1-Technical Rescue Unit, 1-Medic Supervisor, 1-Battalion Chief and 1-District Commander.

To view dramatic video of the rescue, click

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