Danville Fire Department highlights importance of water safety following death of 11-year-old boy

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 11:23 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Danville Fire Department was one of many agencies dispatched to a water rescue Tuesday afternoon. DFD got a boat in the water around 10 minutes after the call came in, and 46 minutes after that page out, an 11-year-old boy was recovered from the Dan River.

“Got him out, started CPR immediately, put him in the back of the ambulance, they transported him to the hospital and at the hospital they pronounced him dead,” said Fire Chief David Coffey.

Chief Coffey said it’s an unfortunate situation and a city spokesperson said the death has been ruled an accident. Water rescues aren’t common for the Danville Fire Department.

“We probably go on half a dozen a year,” said Coffey.

But each time a water rescue page out comes in, the fire department’s technical rescue team is activated.

“Having a group of people that are highly trained in this area just help’s our community. The risk is there, we have a river running right through our city, so the need for us is highly important,” said Fire Captain James Satterfield.

The Danville Fire Department wants residents to remember the dangers that are present in the water.

“When you’re getting in the river, obviously you should have a life jacket, you want to make sure that somebody knows where you are and you want to know the river,” said Satterfield.

These special response teams are always there when they are needed, but prevention is always the best approach. The Danville Fire Department encourages residents to do their part in keeping each other safe this summer and beyond.

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