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Swift water rescue team training on 'Thunder River'

The Gwinnett County Fire Department is going to Six Flags to practice saving lives.

This week, Gwinnett's swift water rescue team is joining representatives from other metro Atlanta fire departments for three days of extensive training at the Austell amusement park, practicing its specialized skills on the park's "Thunder River" ride.

The ride is meant to create a white-water rafting experience for park visitors, and will help simulate the turbulent waters that swift rescue teams often work in to save stranded boaters, tubers and swimmers.

"Firefighters will be perfecting their skills to swim across strong currents, demonstrate swift water rescue techniques, deal with obstacles in the water and learn self-rescue and survival methods," fire spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said.

The training began Tuesday and will continue through Thursday.

Other participating fire departments include Cobb County, Johns Creek, Marietta and Smyrna.