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Consideration / Input...please...

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by DeepSeaDan, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    I am conducting research to assess the feasibility of creating some form of emergency u/w rescue capability for the 80-man Fire Dept. I am part of.

    Our city is bisected by a sizeable river, with hydro-electric generating installations & water flow control structures. The river widens just South of mid-city to form a small lake, then continues southward. We have suffered a number of witnessed drownings in the last several years & our response has been limited to an u/w camera, a view-finder & snorkelling Firefighters. Our stations are located close to the waterway, thus I believe a rapid response dive rescue capability to be within the realm of reason.

    Rescue capability will be limited in scope ( body recovery is handled by the Provincial Police Dive Teams ). We will respond to witnessed drownings & through-ice incidents , in relatively benign waters, for a limited area search. If we do not locate the casualty within our search limitations, rescue ops. will cease & the call for recovery ops. made.

    My current thinking is to have 6 - 8 men / platoon trained for in-water ops., hopefully allowing for at least two in-water capable Firefighters to be on duty at any given time, with the balance of the platoon trained to the support level. Rescue teams will consist of Diver, Standby Diver, 1 line tender & a Supervisor. Dive rescue equipment will be contained in a special cabinet bolted to the apparatus wall, to facilitate quick donning / deployment. Each Diver to be outfitted in a lightwieght shell-style drysuit, with thermal protection as per seasonal requirement. Back-plate mounted, single 113 ft3 steel cylinder, primary reg., secondary reg. likely to be incorporated in the b.c. inflator assembly, wasit belt weight system, hand light(s) etc., etc..

    Such procedures / equipment should satisfy Provincial diving regulations.

    The Department did have an on-call "Dive Team" in years past. It's mandate was primarily recovery ops. The team was disbanded about 12 years ago amid some controversy, thus the concept of any new dive-related capability has not been well-received. I will have a long hill to climb to get this capability anytime soon, but I do love a challenge!

    Your comments, advice, suggestions etc. are welcome.

    (a.k.a. DeepSeaDan )
  2. MSilvia

    MSilvia Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cohasset, Massachusetts USA
    You might want to check thedecostop.com, as there's a fairly active group of public safety divers there who could give you some insight.
  3. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    ...I appreciate your response.

    When I created this thread I honestly thought I'd receive considerable interest / assistance from what appears to be a pretty active PSD community; however, without the kindness of MSilvia, I would have come up bone dry...

    ...why is this? Is it because I am Fire & most participants here are Police? Is the subject area of complete disinterest to the good readers? Is it my aftershave???

    ... would anyone care to shed some light?

  4. miketsp

    miketsp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: São Paulo, Brazil
  5. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA

    I think you are a victim of timing. I do not log on every day and at times, my responses are limited. Just give it a little time and I believe you will receive adequate input.

    I too am fire. We are a rescue/recovery team from a small volunteer fire department. In simplified terms, IF can get the funding, IF you can garner sufficient interest from personnel, IF you can procure authorization from the political structure, and IF you can have your insurance provider add this as a function of the department, go for it. The time, money and effort involved in starting a team can be extremely significant. From the sound of your post, if you drown in your response district, you are pretty much guaranteed of being dead. By establishing a rescue unit, you are able to provide a chance. The old adage of you are not dead, until you are warm and dead is meaningful in rescue.

    Regarding the staffing, in PSD, everything I have been taught and read indicates for safe operation, you SHOULD have a down diver, a ready back-up diver, and a 90% ready diver. Having pointed that out, I will admit to solo diving without back-up in a rescue mode. What I do and what I would direct a subordinate to do are 2 different topics.

    Good luck with your efforts and if I can offer any direct information or assistance, PM me and I will do what I can to offer input.


    PS - While I also belong to The Deco Stop, if you examine the number of posts and the dates, you will find this to be a much more active PSD Forum.

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