US Army Corps of Engineers
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District Employees Participate in 2-Day Flood Fight Training Event

Published May 2, 2017
John Quick, engineering technician, explains how to properly contain a boil with sandbags during Flood Fight Training.

John Quick, engineering technician, explains how to properly contain a boil with sandbags during Flood Fight Training.

John Behrens, deputy director, Inland Navigation Design Center, demonstrates how to operate the flood pump during Flood Fight Training.

John Behrens, deputy director, Inland Navigation Design Center, demonstrates how to operate the flood pump during Flood Fight Training.

Rock Island District employees train on the various methods of filling and laying sandbags during Flood Fight Training.

Rock Island District employees train on the various methods of filling and laying sandbags during Flood Fight Training.

With the snow melted and the spring rains filling up the rivers, 40 District employees attended a workshop to discuss proven flood fighting techniques and teach the newest team members.

"This training is important to train our new, entry-level engineers on the accepted practices of flood fighting,"said Rodney Delp, chief of emergency management.

When an employee signs up for the flood fight training, they sign a commitment form that they will join a flood fight team and be available to assist with the next flood, Delp said.

"Assistance would entail pairing up new trainees with seasoned assistant flood area engineers," he said.

The first day of training was spent indoors learning about public laws, roles and responsibilities of flood fight team members and how to appropiately communicate with media. Day two allowed participants the chance to receive hands-on training on how to most effectively fight floods under various circumstances.

"Filling a sandbag isn’t just about throwing dirt into a bag and throwing it onto a larger pile," Delp said during the hands-on portion of the training.

Although it may seem like a simple task, Delp assured particpants that understanding the proper technique could mean the difference between keeping water out or experiencing a leak in part of the sandbag levee.

John Quick, an engineering technician with the District, also taught participants what to do when they come across a boil during a flood fight.

"Creating a good seal with the sandbags is the key to containing the boil," he said. "Once the barrier has been established you can come back and monitor the boil and adjust your bag placement."

Employees also learned how to work the diesel pump and properly set up Hesco Bastion flood protection barriers.