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What BC Do You Use For Public Safety Diving?

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by suthnbelle, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. suthnbelle

    suthnbelle ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hood River, Oregon
    2,301
    1
    38
    I've recently joined a Search and Recovery team and am in the midst of training. The county team does land, water and swiftwater searches/recoveries. Right now we're meeting at least twice a week for various training. Mostly for the newbies' benefits at the moment. The team trains a lot during the year and we already have the schedule for 2006 which is packed and certifcation trainings get added on. Soon the entire team will be doing excercises at the lake and river.

    My questions is this: Do most of you use your own gear or the department's gear? I'm the only female diver on the team. All of their BCDs (back inflates), drysuits, etc.. are sized for big guys. I own all my own gear so most of it won't be a problem. I will use their tanks & AGA masks of course. It is just the BCD that I think I may have to use of my own. Thing is I dive a Hogarthian rig and I don't want to change anything on it. With their set up I would have to add at least a couple more drings on my harness (I have the one piece webbing harness). I need to really look at their BC set up closer to see if I maybe could add on and then detach. I guess since I'm continuing to take training in my personal diving I just didn't want to reconfig everything. Just wondering what the rest of you do. Thanks for any advice/thoughts you can give.

    BTW, I'm having a great time in the training. I know things can change but I think i'm really going to enjoy this opportunity.

    Gary thanks for the encouraging words when I PMed you a while back. :D

    Mel
     
  2. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    We try and dive the same gear as much as possible. Changing gear between sport and work can cause a lot of problems. More so for a rescue team than a recovery team.

    Have you found out why they want the extra D rings? It might be a good thing all the way around.

    I have a small Zeagle Ranger or Tech that is 99% I might be able to trade for a bigger one if that would help.

    Good luck little lady. Do your best and watch the peer pressure. Thats a lot of training so take advantage of it.

    Keep us posted.

    Gary D.
     
  3. daniel f aleman

    daniel f aleman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Austin, TX
    2,191
    35
    48
    Normally you use what your team uses. Many individual Public Safety divers that I've met use the Zeagle Specialized BCs. By definition PS diving is not Hogarthian, as you will need specialized equipment AND the ability for quick escape from your BC (quick release straps):

    with the built-in lifting harness.
     
  4. leam

    leam Solo Diver

    92
    0
    0
    Yeah, with the team I feel trim at 6'1"/250lbs. Everyone is helpful and friendly; there are a couple female non-divers on the team so it's not bad in that respect. At least I can't sense it though obviously I'm not her.

    The size issue is real though. The team uses Seaquest Black Diamond with Air2. I was sold out on the hog rig too until I started working with these folks. While I'd love to dive with the same gear my budget can't quite handle BC, Aga with pony manifold and buddy phone.

    ciao!

    leam
     
  5. suthnbelle

    suthnbelle ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hood River, Oregon
    2,301
    1
    38
    Thanks for the thoughts and advice. I know I definitely won't be using my rig so I'll talk to the training officer more on this subject. If I have to I'll buy another BCD. I'm 5'4 (and a half :D) and 120lbs so I really don't see how I can make their BCDs fit.

    Thanks Gary. I haven't come across the peer pressure yet. The training officer and the coordinator are great. I haven't really gotten to be around the primary drivers that much yet. Should be interesting when I do. Just regarding any egos out there. I did have to set one young kid on the team straight the other night regarding his concern for my well being. I also had to tell him to STOP calling me "m'am" everytime I asked him something. lol

    The training I definitely want to take advantage of. They also do quite a lot of land searches and we'll get certs in that through NASAR. I'm looking forward to that certification in the summer. Sounds like a week long course.

    So stay tuned guys because I'm sure I'll have more questions.

    thanks again,
    Mel
     
  6. Yotsie

    Yotsie Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Modesto, CA
    260
    4
    0
    Our team uses SeaQuest Black Diamond BCD's with AirSource also. It's provided by the department. The initially bought all XL size, same with drysuits. Recently, the department found as we had been telling them, they need to buy gear sized for each diver, which we now have. There's definately a learning curve, but if you have an admin with an open mind, it helps.

    Paul
     
  7. renpirate

    renpirate Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    971
    2
    18
    I am just curious, as I am in the embryonic stage of developing a dive team for my department, but could you go into more detail about why a hog rig is unsuitable, or more specifically a backplate and wings? I fully understand the arguement of standardized gear, which is the case for Suthnbelle. However, what about the senario of starting from scratch?

    There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice as to what features are desirable in a PSD bc. For instance, as I look at the specialty Rangers, they seem to incorporate features that many on this board say are a no-no, such as an integrated harness and a difficult to use integrated weight system. However, they seem to be the most commonly used.

    (note to all: Training is actually number 1 on my list and I am already signed up for Dive Rescue 1 course through Dive Rescue International.)
     
  8. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
    5
    0
    Ren/Mel

    I agree with some things said on here; others things...

    First and formost standardized gear is very important within the team. The gear should be as close to the same as possible - if not the same.

    I for one think a BP and wing will work very well for PSD. If it is for only one person there's no need for quick releases - if its to fit multiple people the fastex QR can be added. Its far easier and faster to snip a harness off with the shears than fumble with QR straps. It also will provide a more stable platform for the tanks than anything else. If you've got to add D rings you can do it - remember we're talking a hogarthian rig, not DIR. This system is as simple and tough as it gets - perfect for PSD.

    A soft zeagle BC (specifically the 911) is the worst peice of crap I've ever dove for any reason and its even worse for PSD. Our team uses them right now but it probably won't be for long because they're always breaking! A tank mounted pony flops around like crazy with these. If its d rings you're after there has to be at least 20 on this thing for you to get tangled up with!! STAY AWAY

    I like the black diamond alot. It would be my second choice.

    Some mentioned using air2's... for PSD? you're kidding, right?

    mark
     
  9. leam

    leam Solo Diver

    92
    0
    0
    No humor here. We use the Aga mask with a pony and manifold. While I can't argue the advantages of durability or usefulness in contaminated water, at least the idea is good. With this set up there is no single point of failure in the air system.

    ciao!

    leam
     
  10. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    758
    5
    0
    leam

    My mistake. I thought you were talking about those combo BC inflator/octo set ups as your 2nd air source - I think you could appreciate my alarm.

    I guess different terminology in different areas
     

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