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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Rescue vs. Recovery

    This may seem to be a crazy question, but one brought up today at a meeting of the dive team I belong to. The question was, "why do we use the word rescue on our dive team apparatus, when a majority of the time it is only body recovery?" Most of us with common sense stated the fact that there are slim possibilities out there when lives may be saved, even though a majority of our duties do include recovery and salvage. How many of you out there also use the description "Rescue" when describing your SCUBA team.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber NCRSQ751's Avatar
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    Smile Rescue

    We use 'Rescue' on our Dive truck. I prefer to go with out intent. With medical science as it is today, people have a better chance of surviving (including meaningful recovery) than they ever have before, even after extended periods under water.

    Yes, I agree that most of the calls turn into recoveries - but you are there as much for the families, friends and the public as you are the victim. Also think about the motivation factor for your people. How good is it for the bystanders, or how motivating is it for your people to see "Dive Recovery" or "Body Recovery" on the side of a truck?

    We all know the reality, but putting a bit of optimism in it helps everyone. They will know you tried. I'd be curious to know what factors determine rescue vs. recovery where you are. Ours vary slightly with conditions - but in general we use the longest known surived downtime as a guideline. Your waters are colder than ours, so how long do you go before switching modes?

    We like to give everyone the best chance. Like I said, weather conditions, what's in the water and other things that may cause safety issues for the divers may modify that, but it's our general policy.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  3. #3
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    Default

    I agree with NCRSQ751. Good post.

    Of the ones I've seen down here the majority have a more generic title such as "Dive Team" or "Dive Unit".

    Ed

    I.A.C.O.J.-Member

    "The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits".-Albert Einstien

    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door"-Milton Berle

  4. #4
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Arrow Dive Teams

    The Oakland Volunteer Fire Department, located in Bergen County,
    New Jersey, has had a SCUBA unit since 1969, if my memory serves me correctly. The unit is designated "Underwater Search and Recovery"
    I agree, most calls wind up being recovery of bodies. They are also deployed to assist law enforcement agencies to "search" bodies of water for weapons, evidence, etc.

  5. #5
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    Default

    Our team doesnt have an official title per say, but is just the Dive Team. Althouhg id like to think all go on a run as a rescue first. True most are recoveries but thats a fact on all calls we go on. Ive been on numerous full aressts and have only seen one or two live, but I still work that person in hopes of rescuing that person, same with confined space, and house fires. Personally, viewing things only as recoveries is a bad mindset to have. I didnt take this job to recover dead bodies but to rescue people. Even though we all know that most times it will be recoveries on alot of diff calls we deal with.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber davidhwebb's Avatar
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    Default

    Does anyone have thoughts on how to resuscitate a team?
    I come from a small volunteer department who at one time had a pretty decent team of 12 active divers & many more support personnel.

    Over the years, times have changed, people have moved on, budgets have shifted & the sad part is that with minimal need for recovery, our team has basically disappeared.

    I have attempted many different resources to get financial assistance to no avail. I would also like get our team active again. Please HELP!

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber NCRSQ751's Avatar
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    Default

    We had a similar situation. Our team never disappeared, but it was let to go by the wayside. Other priorities kicked in and no one really kept up with it.

    I got some new blood running it and we looked at the program overall. What worked, what didn't - what we needed to get to (people, equipment, training, services).

    We then went to our divers, said - hey we want to revitalize this, give us your ideas. Some were very helpful and went out and told their friends. We also approached local dive shops, law enforcement and fire departments that did not have dive teams, but had divers.

    We have gotten new people interested in the team and the majority of the old ones back. It's been about 10 months since I started and we're more together than we have been in the 7 years I've been a member.

    To wrap it up you need:

    A strong leader
    A plan
    Persistance and Dedication to the Plan

    Best of Luck!
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    Default

    Well, in reference to dive operations, a good way to motivate your team is to let them know that hopefully soon, NFPA 1006 will have a chapter on Dive Rescue Technician. This is independent of the chapter on Water Rescue with the intent on emphasizing the needs of divers when working as part of technical rescue teams. So it will give some of these old-timers something to work toward to have something definitive and standardized.

    And yes, it doesn't make sense sometimes that we (when it comes to sub-surface ops)refer to it as "rescue", but as you said earlier, it's the intent we have when we go out there. Hopefully when we get there and do an effective risk/benefit analysis and determine it to be a recovery, we don't keep treating it like a rescue. All of our apparatus have surface intervention gear (PFDs, mask, fins, snorkel, throw bags, bullets, additional rope coil)and our dive operations are supported by response of a truck company and a rescue with more advanced gear (swiftwater gear or SCUBA, depending on the nature of the call). So hopefully we can throw enough at the situation in the first critical minutes to make it a rescue.

    Stay safe and remember to keep breathing.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

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