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Bad day in this end of the country

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by Gary D., Apr 9, 2004.

  1. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
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    Practice, Practice, Practice and when you think you have it down, more Practice.

    I posted some pics of my car set up on “Diverlink” but I can’t find them right now.

    All my Rescue gear sits on my back seat directly behind me and the cage. Additional Recovery gear is in the trunk.

    It’s packed just so-so and if anything gets out of place it screws everything up and can add a minute or more to suiting up. It’s first in last out.

    We get undressed as traffic allows while enroute. When I open the LR door on my patrol car there is a hanger with jackets and rain gear. It gets tossed onto the trunk. That exposes my dry suit that is accordion folded with 2 white rings. I grab those rings, spin 180 degrees and step into the suit, secure the ankles, slip into the top, secure the crotch strap and zip the “Inner” zipper only.

    Grab my gear bag and toss it onto the trunk. Put on my weight belt, which sits on the floor next to the door.

    Release the seat belt and valve restraint on the tank, turn on the air, pull it out, spin 180 degrees and set it down. Open the BC straps and throw it over my head. As soon as it drops hook up the inflator hose and only the belly BC strap. Secure my computer hose.

    Then into the already open gear bag for the hood and put it on. Then dry gloves and fins get carried to the water.

    That all happens while we are getting briefed on the dive. It isn’t unusual for us to be in the water in less than three minutes from the time we arrive.

    Swift water and Ice at least double our suit up time because of the added gear and hazards involved.

    For Rescue we normally don’t bother with putting on the underwear. If we are on duty, In the winter we have Long Johns and long sleeve shirts on to start with. In the summer we are in short sleeve shirts so that can get cold.

    Our duty belt stays on the driver’s seat; boots stay on the floor or right outside the car. If I remember, I slip my vest off from under my shirt but my back-up weapon has been on better than a hundred dives. You never know when you might need it. :eyebrow:

    Practice, Practice and more Practice.

    This is what I mean about knowing your gear very well.

    Only got up twice last night so everything's getting back to normal.

    Gary D.
     
  2. indypddiver

    indypddiver Angel Fish

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    We had a similar situation occur here last summer. Three brothers, one was 19 if I remember, and the other two in thier 20's. The brothers rented a canoe on a nice sunny day on one of our city reservoirs. None were wearing PFDs when the canoe tipped over, sending all three into the water. One brother managed to hang onto the overturned canoe while the other two submerged. The story we got from family members and friends was that none of the brothers could swim. A boat picked up the brother hanging onto the canoe, the other two didn't make it. The witnesses were all over the map on a last seen point. After about three hours, we located the two victims. Not only were most of thier family members on scene as it occured (they were having a picnic), but shortly after, dozens of family members and friends arrived. Of course the media was there in droves as well. Pretty sad day when the only surviving brother has to come to the realization that he lost both of his brothers, just like that...
     
  3. indypddiver

    indypddiver Angel Fish

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    We also try to configure our gear is the most efficient manner possible, so that getting dressed takes the least amount of time possible. I personally have my BC, tank, and reg set completely set up and ready to go (air off) at all times. I also have my underwear, dry suit, weight belt, and fins in an order in my trunk that allows me to put them on fairly quickly. We usually manage to arrive at a call and be ready to get into the water in less than 5 minutes.

    Gary D. mentioned that they do not wear their underwear if its a rescue operation. The water where we dive never gets above 60 or 65 degrees in the summer, usually its much colder than that. The water temp stays in the upper 30's well into late spring, so we ALWAYS wear our underwear. I would imagine that Idaho is similar. Just a philisophical difference I think. He is also right when he says "practice." We practice getting dressed and geared as fast as possible. Fast, but CORRECTLY.
     
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
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    You doing OK with it?

    Witness can be your best asset or your worst nightmare.

    In hopes of not stirring things up again. This is one reason the Firemen will suit up in the Gumby suit and position themselves in the water. Having them act as targets normally can get the last seen point a lot closer.

    Like last Friday, we had two Firemen in the water and other than distance their line was fairly close. The victim was only about 20’ from the furthest one out.

    Gary D.
     
  5. indypddiver

    indypddiver Angel Fish

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    Yea, I'm just fine. Its kind of like you said in some of your other posts. You really just detach yourself from the tragedy-part of it and focus on the job that you have to do. Again, like you said before, with the exception of one, I don't think I know the names of anyone that we have ever recovered. That might sound heartless to some, but that's what you do when you see death and destruction as much as we do as PSDs and police officers and firefighters. Plus, you don't have much time to dwell on things when the next call is just around the corner.
     
  6. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
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    Sounds like you guys have a good thing going. We kreep our cars 24-7 so it makes it real nice as far as set up's go.

    If I put on underwear it's a 4 to 5 minute suit up. I'm glad another team is doing this so people don't think I have a screw loose.

    On the subject of underwear, It is only the initial diver(s) that hit the water that won't take the time for it. The others will take the time to put it on. Normally our uniform is OK for that first initial dive. Our surface temps can top 80df on some lakes but by 40' it's below 60df and the deeper the colder.

    Again there are exceptions. We don't hit the water without a second diver on scene. Two will not get in until a third is on scene etc.. So if your first on scene and your back-up is 5 minutes out take time to put the underwear on.

    We fudge a little on this. If radio traffic allows, a responding diver will call with "1 minute out". Then the first diver will get wet with a tender who might be ???.

    Gary D.
     
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

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    Gary,

    Thank you.

    You do a job that many of us reading cringe at the thought of. You do it with risk not only to your physical well being but to your mental well being as well. Thanks for sharing an insight into something that many of us never give much thought to.
     
  8. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
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    Thanks but, hehehehe, I think you cave guys have a screw loose. hehehe.

    I guess we each have our little nitch.

    Gary D.
     
  9. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

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    Wellllllll, I never said that I might not be a little crazy. (okay, a LOT crazy!)

    But my dives don't keep waking me up at night...

    To each their own. I do mine for fun, meaning that I dive for me. You dive for the sake of others and IMHO that takes things to a whole new level.

    I guess maybe we both have a few screws loose. :)
     
  10. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    A few changes and some new info.

    Normal delay for dispatch to get us rolling is around 5 minutes. Don't ask why we complain a lot to plugged ears. So with that in mind we thought the victim had been down around 35 minutes. But dispatch paged us out while they were still getting the info. Thats around 7 minutes less than we thought.

    What we found out today once all the info was compiled was he was only down 28 minutes. His core temp was 79df not 77df as first posted.

    Averaging the temps put the water at 43df.

    One of our newer members was ready to go but didn't hit the water. He did assist in removing the victim from the water while he was still suited up.

    I was called by the Dive Sgt. today that the member is having a few problems he can't seem to get rid of. Now that we think about it the victim, with his death look, was a dead ringer for one of our ex-deputies, who just lost his 8 year old son in an ATV accident. The ex-deputy was also a very good team member.

    The Sgt. is putting together an informal second debriefing in the very near future for the entire team and not just the responding units.

    Things can get worse even when you think they are going good. There is no limit to the amount of debriefings you can have to get the problems worked out.

    I'm back to normal after going through my typical 1 rough night and another 1 or 2 so so nights.

    Gary D.
     

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