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Swiftwater Rescue: Stepping Away from Tradition

With all the discussion regarding climate change and global warming, impacts in the United States are already being felt. Rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and more precipitation are being seen throughout the U.S. and a more active hurricane season is predicted again in 2021. As a result, more and more cities, even those not on a coast, are finding themselves dealing with dangerous flooding scenarios. River flooding, coastal flooding, flash floods, and urban flooding, as experienced by NYC in early June, are all on the rise. And even though citizens in flood-prone areas are constantly reminded to be cautious when they see flooded roadways, they may not always err on the side of caution. It only takes a foot of water to stall a vehicle and drag it away, and half that depth for a person on foot.

When flooding is occurring, swiftwater rescue teams must be at the ready in the event a water rescue operation is needed. And with the increase in flooding that has occurred in the last few years, more and more communities are finding the need to put a swift water rescue team in place; building teams within their tech rescue programs. A well prepared swiftwater team is a perfect blend of their people, their training, and their equipment. Essential equipment such as a boat, throw or rope bags, haul lines, etc are certainly necessities, but personal protective equipment, including proper footwear, is just as important to consider.

A swiftwater rescue team needs a boot that fits their needs and stands up to the extreme demands placed on it. Because not only are they working to get others to safety, they have to keep themselves safe as well. One thing is indispensable for anyone involved in a swiftwater deployment “you need equipment that you can rely on 100%,” says Senior Strike Team Leader with PA Hart, Scott Grahn. The team leader puts his faith in the Black Eagle® Athletic 2.0 T High Side Zip. It is lightweight and responsive while offering the durability and quality HAIX® is known for. As with all HAIX® boots, the Black Eagle® Athletic is painstakingly designed with the utmost attention to detail. HAIX® ensures that all of their boots are of the best quality, with long lasting durability and unparalleled comfort.

Built like an athletic shoe, these boots are easy to get on and off with the handy side zip feature and offers exceptional traction on wet/slippery surfaces, including boats. With its microfiber design, the boot does not fill with water and offers increased mobility and less foot fatigue than more common water rescue boots seen on the market. The side stabilization at the base of the boot helps water rescue responders keep their footing with varied boat movements; and if having to climb on wet rocks, the stone shield in the sole helps to guard against any foot bruising.

While the Black Eagle® Athletic 2.0 T High Side Zip serves as a multifunction boot, and can be used in a multitude of rescue situations, it’s light weight and exceptional breathability are its hallmark. Quick draining once out of water, the boots will dry quickly. The side zip design will reduce the potential for tears in dry suit socks since the boot offers a generous opening to get in and out quickly. The built-in ankle protector not only offers protection to the delicate ankle area, it can act as added traction when lying on angled surfaces, like overturned boats or angled rooflines. Take the next step forward in Swiftwater rescue. For better overall protection and support during swiftwater operations, step away from tradition and experience the difference of the HAIX® Black Eagle® Athletic 2.0 T High Side Zip.

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