Within the Snoqualmie Fire Department's Technical Rescue Program there are two disciplines: Swiftwater and Rope. Although the City has a very small number of rescue calls within its jurisdiction, it does have the potential for mutual aid response to neighboring jurisdictions for rescue calls. Natural attractions within the City such as Snoqualmie Falls, and the Snoqualmie River, as well as numerous nearby popular hiking trails, create a high potential for technical rescues in the Snoqualmie Valley.
All career firefighters are trained to the Swiftwater Technician Level, and volunteer firefighters are trained to the operational level. The main difference between the two levels is technicians enter the water while operation level personnel are trained to support up to the water’s edge.
Each career firefighter has a complete set of swiftwater gear that is maintained by the individual. Other safety equipment (throw bags, life jackets) are kept on the apparatus for deployment as needed.
The department has two inflatable kayaks that are used in conjunction with swiftwater operations. One kayak is kept inflated and secured to the top of the engine to ensure quick deployment if needed. The second kayak is kept inflated on the boat trailer.
The department has one zodiac-style boat with a motor for river operations that was placed into service in 2019. The boat is on a trailer and housed in the station. Aid cars, as well as command vehicles, can tow the boat to an incident as needed.
All career firefighters are trained to the technician level for rope rescues. This allows the department to respond to any emergencies that include rescue from tall heights like Snoqualmie Falls, or pack out from medium to low angle terrain located throughout the rugged terrain surrounding Snoqualmie and the numerous hiking and biking trails.
Firefighters train quarterly on a wide range of rope rescue topics to stay current on rescue techniques.