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Los Angeles firefighters rescue two victims from rain-swollen basins

December 7, 2009 |  5:36 pm

The Los Angeles Fire Department's swift water rescue squad was pressed into action twice this afternoon, pulling two people from storm-swollen water basins.

The squad is made up of firefighters trained in water-rescue techniques who use boats and helicopters to reach victims, according to officials.

The first rescue was made around 12:30 p.m. after a woman was trapped along an embankment at a flood basin in the 3300 block of West Riverside Drive, officials said.

A passerby heard the woman screaming and she was rescued without any injuries.

Around 4 p.m., a man was trapped on a small island in a flood basin along the 3200 block of  Los Feliz Boulevard, officials said.

Firefighters tried to hoist the man from the island with a helicopter, but he refused to cooperate, officials said.

A firefighter tied to a rope was able to traverse the fast-moving water and pull the man to safety. He was uninjured.

"They've been worked to the hilt today," Fire Department spokesman Devin Gales said of the squad.

-- Robert J. Lopez