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Agency dive team proposal ideas??

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by vtownmike, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. vtownmike

    vtownmike Nassau Grouper

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    Hello, work for a small coastal city pd. we currently have no dive team and I think we should. Each day we have numerous shore divers as well as charters that operate within 1 mile of land. I feel it is important to have at least a few divers from our agency that are equipped and trained to respond should the occasion arise. I know some of the shot callers in the agency have been receptive to the idea, but they need a compelling proposal. Has anyone gone through the process before, or even have a proposal/plan they could share?? Thanks
     
    K9LO likes this.
  2. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
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    vtownmike, there are a number of approaches to take. feel free to PM me. i'll be happy to give you some guidance.
     
  3. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,225
    766
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    You also have an airport. We (Charlotte County) assisted Sarasota county (along with several other agencies), somewhere around 10 years ago, with an airplane that went down just south of the pier. We've also worked with North Port PD as well.

    We're having training on June 20, I'm sure if you want to come and play, I'm sure that I can get it cleared on our end. It'd be a good time, we're going to be holding tryouts, some underwater harassment, and other pool activities, and if we have time, some sidescan in the afternoon. My admin sergeant will be there, and you can pick his brains. He's one of the guys who started our team in the late 90s.
     
    K9LO and vtownmike like this.
  4. vtownmike

    vtownmike Nassau Grouper

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    Reef guy, thanks but unfortunately I work the 20th. I sent you a PM
     
  5. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
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    vtownmike, As current Team Leader and Instructor Trainer for 3 Public Safety Dive Teams, I have gone through and continue to go through bureaucracy and red tape, when it comes to operating a Dive Team for a County or City. I am what some would call a smart ass, or jerk some might say and I find it hard to bite my tongue. Now with that being said, I try to show the higher ups why it is more cost effective to have a Dive Team that is in house, instead of utilizing resources outside the district. As a Dive Shop Owner, who also does dive salvage, and located on the water where all our Dive Teams operate, it is easy for me to calculate cost as a private business of what it would cost for an operation. Now on the other side of things, being a Public Servant, former Deputy Sheriff & Police Officer, and currently a Fire Fighter & EMT, I have the added benefit of volunteering my services instead of charging for them. With the teams I operate and train, I find that one of the biggest reasons Departments hesitate in starting a team is the start up cost to train and equipped personnel. If an agency has a body of water in its district, then there is a need. But the cost effectiveness of starting a team or using outside resources is the biggest obstacle. My suggestion would be to do your homework and say investigate say in the last 20 years, what kind of need analysis your department has for a dive team. Then figure out what it would cost to hire a private team to do the same job. Then calculate the cost to start a team. The lesser cost option would be what I would focus on when presenting it to your department heads. Showing that you have done your research, and being able to back it up with analysis from the past, might give you an upper leg in the battle. Now with all that being said, remember this, there is more to it than just getting trained and doing the dives / operation. Insurance is a big deal when you set up a team, especially if said team operates under mutual aid for other departments. Last but not least, look into starting a 3rd party private team, then getting contracts through your area with Public Safety Departments to operate. This ideally is a great way of going to keep the bureaucracy out of it (Being my badge is shinier than yours syndrome / agency vs agency will always arise). The down side is the cost is usually all out of pocket, but with a contract you can usually earn some of it back. If you see a need for it, and are passionate about it, fight for it. PM me if you got any other questions, I can send you several examples of SOG's I have wrote for other teams to help them get started. You can use these SOG's to write your own to fit your teams needs. Hope this helps.
     
    K9LO likes this.
  6. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,225
    766
    113
    How soon are you looking at making your proposal? And what size team?

    As I indicated, We will be holding tryouts for positions available on our team this month. In several months (I'm thinking Nov-Dec), I will have some divers needing some training. We have the facilities available to hold a PSDA training class (including a grungy pond with a sedan and soon a helicopter in it), and PGPD has a PSDA instructor (If you've been in the area a while, you may know him - Lt. Kirdy). If I can scare up enough people, I can probably interest command staff in organizing a class locally - no per deim or hotels. We did it back in 2007, and had divers from Lee county, Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Considering the cost of out of town training, this can be a very attractive alternative to command staff. Besides, it's a great benefit to SW florida when we work together.

    I'd need to talk to Lt Kirdy and see if he's still teaching PSDA.
     
  7. vtownmike

    vtownmike Nassau Grouper

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    apparently another officer has a proposal he sent in about a year ago. I need to get a copy of it first and see what I can add or build upon to spark interest first. I'm thinking only about a 4 or 5 man team to get started with.
     
  8. Jim-SAR

    Jim-SAR Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kenosha, WI
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    Mike - it sounds like you have several people fairly local to help you out with some good information.

    One thing to keep in mind is how many personnel you're going to need for a "team", even just starting out. Our team has been through training with LGS (Lifeguard Systems) in the past, and now we're using ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International). The minimum you'll need is five(5) to allow for a primary diver/tender pair, backup diver/tender pair, and the profiler. Our team uses a third diver/tender pair to act as a 90% diver. You'll also need to have a diving operations supervisor, a diving safety office, and possibly a media relations person (could be the supervisor). During extended diving operations, the more divers/tenders you have, the easier it will be to ensure your divers are getting enough rest between dive rotations. We are an all-volunteer team for the county, and due to people's work schedules, during a callout we might only have the minimum to do the searches/recoveries, even though we have about 16 divers, so the more you have, the better off you'll be.

    When doing your proposal, don't forget about the infrastructure items you'll need to support your team's mission, in addition to full sets of dive gear if they're not volunteers. Body harnesses, caribeeners, underwater communications equipment, life preservers for tenders/shore personnel, pagers (maybe radios too), basic emergency lights/sirens for personnel's privately owned vehicles if responding while not on duty. If all personnel are on the PD, then you could consider having a truck/enclosed trailer on standby with ALL of the diving gear and it would roll out as dispatched. Just don't under-estimate the amount of "stuff" that a dive team needs. There's way too much to try to type it all out.

    I wish you the best of luck with your proposal.
     
    vtownmike and scubasprout like this.

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