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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Williams County, ND

    WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - For 20 years, the Williams County
    sheriff's office diving team has been helping to rescue drowning
    victims.
    Sgt. Randy Miller, the captain of the 11-member team and one of
    its original members, said it was started in 1982 after research on
    cold water rescues.
    "A doctor discovered that in temperatures of water colder than
    70 degrees, people can be revived even if they've been under water
    for an hour," Miller said.
    Divers must wear specific suits for different types of
    environment, and they can easily don an extra 100 pounds of gear
    before they reach the water. The gear includes a 40-pound scuba air
    tank, a regulator to breathe, a jacket to put over the wet suit
    along with the wet suit, mask, fins and snorkel and a 40-pound
    weight belt.
    Miller said the weight belt is needed because the texture of wet
    suit would make the diver float and more weight is needed to allow
    divers to submerge.
    Williston Police Sgt. Charlie Tanner, also a long-term member of
    the team, was on hand last week to show the young campers the gear.
    He and Miller agree that murky water is a problem in the region.
    "It's like chocolate milk down there," Tanner said.
    To compensate, divers must carefully probe the dark water
    through arm motions known as the half-moon pattern.
    "You do a hand sweep for protection and to find objects,"
    Miller said.
    Just as important are the people watching for the diver on
    shore, with a string used as a communication link. A diver could
    tug a set signal to notify the land crew that something has been
    found, that he wants to return, or that he is having trouble.
    More sophisticated communication equipment will allow a
    full-masked diver to speak to the ground crew while underwater.
    The Williams County diving team has assisted in two calls this
    year. "We're a regional diving team," Miller said. "We're called
    for rescue and recovery in McKenzie, Divide, Mountrail counties and
    eastern Montana."
    In a regular year, the team will perform six diving drills in
    different environments, conditions and locations, including a
    winter cold dive. The team has a special ice saw.
    Miller said some dives are done near submerged cars and others
    are done in the Little Muddy River. Clear-water dives often are
    rehearsed in Brush Lake, in eastern Montana.
    Miller said the deepest level for the team so far has been about
    75 feet.
    Besides the local practices, the team members are required to
    get training in dive rescue and attend ice diving school.
    "The more experienced they are in different environments, the
    better diver they are," Miller said. "Our main reason that we
    were established is to try and save lives."

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
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    Default

    OK, I'll bite, is it just a nice story? Were they disbanded?

    It is nice to see the media give us some good press, I don't think many people have any idea of what we do. Most people think we just sit around, and the police just give out tickets.

  3. #3
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Default

    I can't say for sure, WHY they posted this on the AP wires. Perhaps, just an interesting feature they decided to run nationwide.

    Of course....what about the other 14,000 some odd dive teams around the USA?

    Whatever..it's good PR for the fire services!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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