Thread: Whats it like?
02-12-2010, 07:37 PM #1
Whats it like?
I was asked if I wanted to join and they will train me. They will aso supply all gear I will need. What is it like from you that are experienced in underwater rescue??
02-12-2010, 08:58 PM #2
First off - have you ever done any diving before? It is different than wearing an scba.....
There is a lot of training that needs to be done - from the diving - I know you need open water, and there is also rescue diving training if I remember correctly. It can get pretty technical.......
I helped out with ground support for a while in my old department - handling lines while the divers performed searches, making sure the equipment was ready, getting the divers dressed etc.......so even if you don't actually dive there are jobs....
I still remember one diver telling me about a recovery dive (and that is what most are) - in a VERY murky lake where a swimmer had disappeared.....he and a partner were searching when he suddenly came face to face with the victim.....and I mean LITERALLY!.....he had to grab his partners' hand and place it on the victim to make him understand he had been found......the visibility was that bad.......
I got my open water dive cert a few years back...but never went for anything more.....
02-12-2010, 10:03 PM #3
Yes I was an avid diver in Florida but I know its alot different then rescue. Out of twenty people that were asked only two of us said yes. It was strange that only two us stepped forward and thats why im asking questions.
Last edited by NyIrish76; 02-12-2010 at 10:03 PM. Reason: spelling
02-13-2010, 08:15 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Crawford County PA
Public Safety Diving is very different from recreational diving. I have been a diver for our county level team for over 10 years. Over that time we have attempted to train many divers. Several times we will have gotten someone that is very excited to dive for the team, however after going through Open Water 1 and Open Water 2 their outlook changed considerably. Then after receiving the Public Safety Dive Training through Life Guard Systems, all of the glamor and excitement is over. Our divers are very well trained through this organization, we go in, get the job done, and go home. Due to this company and their methods, we are near 100% for recovering what we are looking for. Whether it be a body or evidence. Everything is very methodical and diver safety is number 1.
Public Safety Diving is very specialized. We have been diving 1 tethered diver at a time with redundant air supply, a back up diver tethered, and a 90% diver for 15+ years. In PA, most of our water is black. we search entirely by feel. During training we encourage the members to use "their minds eye", in other words you are trying to visualize everything you touch in your mind. Your sense of touch becomes the most important sense during your dive. With the underwater com system we have the ability to talk to the surface and the back up diver at all times. This helps out considerably, even though you are along at the bottom of the lake someone is their to talk to you.
Public Safety Diving has been a very rewarding experience, I have no regrets about joining the team. There is always a need for well trained divers in fire/rescue. Keep asking questions and attend a few training dives with the team or join as a surface support person and get a feel for how things work.
02-15-2010, 07:11 PM #5
- Join Date
- May 2000
- Wheaton IL
Public safety Diving is nothing like recreational diving. In my are the 1st thing is the BEST visability we ever have is about 4 foot. 97% of the time visability is a few inches and often we are in water so dirty that your light up to your mask is not visable. Everything is by feel, we are always in a drysuit with full face mask and drygloves.
We work with lift bags and recovery vehicles so you have tasks to do by feel around cars that are submerged. The diving isn't on your terms almost ever, it seems like it is always raining or snowing, sometimes in current, at night. Very often with people sobbing on shore.
I personally like it, the nature of the business by me lends to recoveries more then rescues, but it is challenging. The actual swimming is stressful but you don't have to be an olympic swimmer to do it. Now that we have communications it isn't as solo as it used to be. What keeps me going is the chance to save a life, we are getting into the water faster and faster, and we are saving people after longer and longer times submerged. It is a unique part of the rescue world that only a few people are involved in.
05-23-2010, 08:30 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
What he said!
It's scary as heck 'cause you literally cannot sometimes see your hand in front of your mask. You move by feel, you're generally tethered or on a line, and you're at risk of entanglement, finding all those rusty fishhooks people have been tossing in the lake all these years. Best learn to shower with lots of vinegar and a buddy with a firehose as you're not going to want to know what else was in that water.
Best thing I've ever done with clothes all the way on!
Addendum: The teams I've been on tend to want Advanced Open Water or the equivalent. If you can get that far on your own then they'll help you get to the next level.
Last edited by leam2711; 05-23-2010 at 08:32 PM.
06-21-2010, 12:02 PM #7
All our divers qualify on open water,ocean,night dives,Public safety and then Ice dives. Ice dives are the hardeest and most dangerous. They dive every month sometimes multiple times. You have to make a majority of the Documented dives to stay on the team. T.C.
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