BOTETOURT COUNTY -
After a busy 2013, swift water rescue teams in Botetourt County are making sure they're prepared this year.
The 40 person team began water training in April and will continue to do so monthly throughout the summer.
Most members got plenty of practice last year when nine rescues were made in the county, including five on the James River.
Swift water rescue group supervisor Blake Brinkley said those experiences helped strengthen the team.
"If someone is stranded in a flooded condition, time is of the essence," he said. "If we can save five minutes or if we can save two minutes that could be the difference in effecting a rescue or having to conduct a recovery."
With tourism expected to rise on the James River, Brinkley said the team's continued training is critical.