JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Each year Johns Creek’s Swiftwater Rescue Team, a special unit of the fire department, responds to dozens of emergencies on the Chattahoochee River.

As the temperature has risen, so has the number of people needing help on the ‘Hooch. At a June 15 council meeting, Mayor Mike Bodker took time to remind the community of basic river safety.

The city encourages people who plan on enjoying the river to call 770-945-1466, or toll free at 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569) to hear the release schedule for Buford Dam. The water release schedule varies day to day, and sometimes the water rises quickly and leaves people stranded.

The Johns Creek Fire Department also advises that everyone, even experienced swimmers, wear a life jacket.

The department launched the Swiftwater Rescue team in 2010. It is comprised of more than 30 Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and several operations-level trained technicians.

The team operates two rescue boats, a Special Operations Unit, and an off-road vehicle to facilitate rescues on the river. During emergency responses, the team works closely with the fire departments of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, and the city of Roswell.

With its highly trained rescuers, Johns Creek takes pride in providing swiftwater training to other departments within the Atlanta region.

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