You can now add swift-water rescue to an already expansive duty list for Texas Game Wardens.
Perceived as mostly a hunting and fishing regulation department, the law enforcement group has also performed search-and-rescues since their inception in 1895.
"We've always responded to natural disasters, man-made disasters, hurricanes, the explosion in West," said Game Warden Captain Jason Davis.
Game Warden offices are scattered throughout the state and the department possesses more than 300 boats, making them ideal responders to all kinds of disasters, but specifically high- or swift-water rescues.
The group had not formally trained for swift-water rescues until now.
On Wednesday, a special unit of Game Wardens spent the day training in the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels for tactical boat operations, first aid, and casualty care.
Davis described the training as “a long time coming.”
That was especially true for Guadalupe County Game Warden Kevin Frazier, who took part in Wednesday’s training exercises.
"He was a very personal friend of mine; I recruited him,” said Frazier, referring to his former colleague, Texas Game Warden Teyran “Ty” Patterson, who was tragically killed in 2007.
"He drowned in a boating accident where we were trying to do a search-and-rescue mission,” said Frazier.
Patterson's death, said Frazier, was a big reason why training was taking place this week.
"This is the foundation of this dream we've had for so many years,” said Frazier.
Training will continue through Aug. 22.