Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

  • Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
  • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
  • Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
  • Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
  • Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
  • Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.

All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

NEW for 2014 Access SBlogbook for members. It allows you to directly upload data from your dive computer, validate your logs digitally, link your dives to photos, videos, dive centers (9,000 on file), fishes (14,000 on file) and much more.

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Path to becoming a public safety diver


  1. #1
    Scuba Instructor

    Has not set a "status"

    Griff..'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    1,000 - 2,499

    Path to becoming a public safety diver

    So I'm currently a Divemaster doing my IDC.

    after some recreational instructor experience, I am looking to maybe go into public safety diving..
    I was just wondering if this is a good Career?
    What's the pay like, is there a need for it?
    Does training come with getting the job or are there recognized organisations you need a cert from


  2. #2

    Has not set a "status"

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I just don't log dives
    PAY...You can get paid for this??? Just kidding. Most dive recovery units are made up of volunteers who do not get paid. The dive units that do get paid to dive, like some LE units, are usually officers first and diving is a secondary duty. They do have a few full time paid dive units out there but they are so few.

  3. #3
    New User


    BladesRobinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    FLORIDA / LAT 27°39.133' / LON 080°22.261' / ICW Marker 140
    In most of the fire departments in Florida, firefighters are paid about $15 bi-weekly to be public safety divers also. I believe the law enforcement officers in the area are receiving a similar incentive. Naturally there are extremes where some are doing the diving for "free" (as part of their job requirements) and some are making more than $15 bi-weekly. The variances are likely due to the volume of dive calls these team members respond to.

    There are no "public safety diving jobs" because a huge majority of the departments don't have enough underwater operations to justify having a full-time diver/dive team.
    Blades Robinson
    Director, Dive Rescue International
    Executive Director, International Association of Dive Rescue Specialists


    ON FACEBOOK / Become a Fan! http://bit.ly/bZEMoO

    FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: http://bit.ly/arC0d9

  4. #4
    Public Safety Diver

    Has not set a "status"

    Gary D.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Post Falls, Idaho
    I'm a Fish!
    Recreational and PSD are quite different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Griff.. View Post
    So I'm currently a Divemaster doing my IDC.

    after some recreational instructor experience, I am looking to maybe go into public safety diving..
    I was just wondering if this is a good Career?Yes it is and a very rewarding one IF you have the right mindset.
    What's the pay like, is there a need for it?The pay is great. My team gets $.50 an hour. Notice that the . is after the dollar sign and not after the 50 But our department supplies the gear and training. This is very unusual in the PSD world.
    Does training come with getting the job or are there recognized organisations you need a cert from

    Play around the PSD site and you will get most if not all of your questions answered. Good luck

    What ever you do in life do it well and do it safe.

  5. #5
    TC is offline
    Miscreant Moderator

    has an alibi.

    TC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Southern California
    Blog Entries
    Pasted from an earlier thread-

    Quote Originally Posted by TC View Post
    Find out who provides the public safety divers in the area(s) you want to work. Normally it will be a law enforcement agency or a fire department, sometimes a volunteer organization.

    In nearly all agencies public safety diving is not a full time job- it's an extra duty on top of being a law enforcement officer or firefighter.

    See if they use only their full time personnel or if they also use reserves or volunteers. If they only use their full time folks then you will need to get hired, go through their academy or training program. If they use volunteers ask what the requirements are to join.

    For the agencies that use full time personnel find out how long you have to be on the agency before you can apply to be on the team (In many agencies it will be several years). If they use reserves or volunteers then find out what training they expect you to have before you can join and what training they will put you through after you are hired.

    Do some research before anything else- asking the question here shows you are on the right track.

    Do a bit of reading- some books I like- Encyclopedia of Underwater Investigations by Robert Teather, Public Safety Diving by Walt Hendrick and Andrea Zaferes and PSDiver by Mark Phillips.

    Most public safety diving courses are sponsored by these agencies and many are only open to folks that are already on teams. (teaching only folks that are covered by workers compensation should an injury occur tends to lower the liability risks)

    Your profile indicates you only have a couple dozen dives so far, get with a shop or club or find a buddy and go out and get some experience under your belt, as you get more dives in your skills will improve and you will be a better candidate for a team.

    Public safety diving is a highly specialized area and while many of the recreational courses you mention may not be directly applicable they all add to your experience level and help you start to develop skills that will help you throughout your diving career, sport diving or PSD.

    One final thought- if you run across local dive shops or sport diving instructors offering training in public safety diving make sure that the course is being taught by someone with actual experience in public safety diving (and tagging along for a couple of callouts is not enough). If they don't have actual experience in the field save your money and go elsewhere.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

    hasn't set a status.

    Jim Baldwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    North Louisiana
    5,000 - ∞

    Spot on

    You have gotten very solid down to earth information nothing sugar coated here.

    As the other posters have said you would be better off going to work in law
    enforcement or fire where there would be a clear need for your expertise as you will
    soon be an instructor.

    In the early 80's I worked for a the local PD and another officer and myself were the dive team for the entire parish(county). The local FD was just getting into diving. We had to provide our own gear and diddn't paid for any call outs if we were off duty.

    Now as an instructor I am teaching more and more fire and police than ever before. Some have found grants while others get reimbursed for gear or training as budgeted items through their department. None I know of get paid to just be a PSD.

    And yes there are specific courses that you can take to enhance your resume. Some even require that you are a LE or FD member assigned to a dive team before you can even apply.

    My son recently went to work for Galveston PD and during the interview process they saw that he was a Rescue Diver. As they were looking for new members not recreational OW divers but folks who can handle zero vis. this made for some good questions. Galveston PD has a dive/marine division and their officers do get paid extra to be members.

Similar Threads

  1. What is a public safety diver ?
    By edasque in forum Basic Scuba Discussions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: March 14th, 2009, 10:35 AM
  2. Public safety diver in MO. new here.
    By Fireman6458 in forum Introductions and Greets
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: January 17th, 2009, 12:23 AM
  3. Public Safety Diver (from Saskatchewan)
    By Prairieboy in forum Introductions and Greets
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: June 24th, 2008, 02:10 AM
  4. Public safety diver dress
    By Sealboy in forum USIA
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 31st, 2006, 02:19 PM
  5. Steps to Public Safety diver...
    By Kunk35 in forum Public Safety Divers
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: October 29th, 2006, 12:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts