Water safety: Tampa Fire Rescue explains how you can save lives, too

With all the waterways in and around the Tampa area, Tampa Fire also carries with it the title of "Rescue".

The members of Tampa Fire Rescue have to be proficient at saving people in distress in the water.

"You tend to fall back on your training when the crap hits the fan- when you are put into a stressful situation -and the more you have trained, the better you are at handling that situation," said Tampa Fire Rescue Captain Tim Hayes.

It's that training that makes them as good as they are when it comes to water rescues. They invited FOX 13 along to see what they go through and how we, as witnesses, can help them out in an emergency situation.

"We go with reach throw, row, go,” explained Capt. Hayes. “Reach out and grab someone if you can, and bring them in. Throw- throw a floatation device; get that out to them. Row would be, get in a boat or a raft and go get them. The last option is go. Get in the water and go get them."

Those four are what we practiced in the water out front of the Tampa Convention Center. If there were any witnesses or 911 callers, Hayes says there are ways to help beyond calling for help.

"You happen to see one of these things, look for a good landmark where you last saw them. If you have someone else there, have eyes on them at all time. That way when we get there, you're still looking at them and you can point them out to us."