By Fiona de Young
Community Relations Manager

With the monsoon season officially underway, the Rincon Valley Fire District wants to remind you that when in doubt, turn around don’t drown.

This catchphrase has become popular in the last few years as summer rains fill our canyons and our roads with flash floods. But it’s more than just a catchphrase, it could save your life.

“We responded to several swift-water rescues in Vail last year,” said Battalion Chief Eddie Cornejo, “most individuals were either stranded in their vehicles, or had been swept away in the flood waters when they called for help.”

To prepare for this season, Rincon Valley Fire District, along with several other area fire departments, performed extensive training to gear up for the monsoons. Meeting at both the Central Arizona Project canal, and the Gila River, these tactical trainings simulated the real-life rescues that occur in a flash flood.

“We take safety very seriously,” said Captain Scott Laird, Director of Special Operations. “Training and preparing our crews for these events is one of the most important things we can do, leading up to the monsoon season,” he said.
Now we need you to do your part. Please keep these tips in mind to keep yourself and your family safe this monsoon season:

• Plan your trip by checking real-time weather updates

• Flash flooding happens fast: do not cross flooded or barricaded roadways

• Ensure your wipers are working properly

• Use headlights in bad weather

• Never go near a downed power line

• Sign-up for local emergency alerts at MyAlerts.pima.gov

The threat of lightning increases as a storm approaches, peaks when it is overhead, and gradually diminishes as it moves away. Many people wait too long to get to a safe place. If you hear the thunder roar, you’re likely within striking distance of the storm, according to the National Weather Service. That means it’s time to get indoors.

We are always happy to discuss safety with you. For more information or to submit a request to our customer service portal, visit our website at www.rinconvalleyfd.org. You can also reach out to us at our administrative offices at 520-647-3760.

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