Plymouth County search and rescue divers recognized
Plymouth County search and rescue divers recognized

LE MARS, Iowa (Iowa Media Wire) — There are 11 volunteers that make up the Plymouth County search and rescue diver team. They’re trained to handle water rescues, but the recent flooding wasn’t something they’d dealt with before.

“We were initially called out for a shock that got swept off,” member Cole Heissel said. “I was 75 called us out because we had boats trying to get to him and after we got him out, we got called down to Rock Valley to assist with the evacuations.”

The team rescued 36 people from their homes spreading across Rock Valley, Akron, Merrill and more over two days. They said the water was so deep in some areas that they had to launch their boats from a parking lot.

Pat Heissel the Captain of the Plymouth County Search and Rescue Divers said, “There was an internet command center set up, and these guys would get an address in Rock Valley and they would punch it in their phone and they would go to that address and check and bring back people who had been trapped,” captain Pat Heissel said.

A woman that was rescued in Rock Valley was present a a recognition ceremony Tuesday. She said that she was blindsided by the water and that she’s grateful the team was there to help.


Pat Heissel said he’d never experienced anything like this.

“When you have, water standing in a parking lot, that’s creating some pretty good wave,” he said. “That’s pretty serious stuff. There were some times that I think our guys were, you know, a little afraid.”

The divers were only some of the many first responders and volunteers that stepped up to help out during the flooding.

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