Rescue Workers Checking Into Hidden Dangers Of Irrigation Canals
Blackfoot, Idaho (KBOI) On Friday, three people including Jacquelyn Poulson, an Assistant Coach at Idaho State University. These deaths have caused rescue workers to think about the hidden dangers in irrigation canals.
The recent death of an Idaho State University Assistant Track Coach has surprised many in the town of Blackfoot where she lived.
It's also saddened those who knew 41 year old Michael Hicks and 49 year old Preston Tarpley who tried to go in after her and also died.
Mitch Tarpley, Preston's brother says, " the tragedy here is this would be bad enough if there was one person involved, but for three lives to be taken. We have three wonder families that will be changed forever. "
While deaths like these are rare it has served as a reminder to rescue workers who are sometimes put in dangerous situations. Unlike a house fire, where crews can cut off all power before they go in, a water rescue presents many unknowns.
Jake Ellis, Battalion Chief says, "it's a tragedy for the families but it's a reminder for us to question ourselves about stepping in and stopping and taking a look."
Ellis says an electric current running through water is almost impossible to detect and it only takes a small amount to cause cardiac arrest. He also notes how difficult it can be for people who only want to help those in danger.
Ellis adds, "we can't save anyone if they are already gone and we need to keep that in our mind so we don't become part of the incident, and lose our own life."