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Branson To Have Water Rescue Team Available Around The Clock By June

Treat Architects

Branson has several waterways, including Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and Roark Creek, which has spilled out of its banks a few times in recent years.

And, thanks to a recent donation, the final piece of equipment needed to create an official water rescue initiative can now be purchased.

Dr. Joy and Tom Watson donated $1500 to purchase a reserve motor for Branson Fire Department’s new water rescue boat.

Fire Chief Ted Martin said the water rescue initiative will allow them to have members with Swiftwater Rescue Training on duty 24/7.

The team will still rely on help from surrounding rescue organizations, but it will be able to support other teams when they need help.

"We've seen the flooding over the last several incidents, over the last...five or ten years, and we've had water rescue deployed to pre-stage. We've had to call water rescue teams across the region from, say, over towards Fort Leonard Wood over to the waterways near Kansas City, even in the Springfield area and Greene County, so, the opportunity for us to help each other is imperative," said Martin.

Another donation by the Watsons was used to purchase dry suits for water rescues and three sets of water rescue gear.

An anonymous donor gave money to purchase other equipment, including the rescue boat, and for training.

Martin expects to have the water rescue initiative in full service by June 1.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.