With a theme park ride as their training ground, about 40 firefighters and instructors today practiced rescue operations in swift waters.
The firefighters were given access to the Congo River Rapids water ride at Busch Gardens before the park opened to simulate conditions of urban flooding and fast-moving water.
The practice is part of a 40-hour class in urban flood rescue offered by the Florida Fire College through a Department of Homeland Security grant.
The firefighters are part of two of the state's nine rescue task forces and already are trained in rescues in structural and other urban conditions.
Firefighters from Tampa, St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County took part, as well as firefighters from Orlando and Orange and Seminole counties.