I am OK

Do we, as water rescue response teams understand what it takes, mentally and physically, to make the total operation work? How do we get the most from our rescue personnel, while maintaining strict safety standards? Your beeper / Plectrum is going off, the code tells you to respond to a confirmed drowning. It is five fifteen in the afternoon, you are sitting in traffic, you have not had the easiest day at work, and now it is time to...

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Evidence – we all should know how to handle it

There may be more to it than meets the eye! in SORTIE Vol. 1 no. 2 brings up the point that drowning can be homicidal, and that a body could be dumped in the water in an attempt to cover up foul play. A significant percentage of dive teams today are fire teams. These teams will often respond to both recovery and rescue operations. What happens to an investigation when proper information is not recorded and evidence is handled...

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I Said NO! Or Is That An Order…?

By Ken Balfrey As law enforcement officers, do we have the right to say no in a surface or subsurface rescue situation? Are our departments and ranking officers (Chief, Sheriff, or Public Safety Directors) telling us we have to attempt a rescue? Do we have the equipment, skills, or training to make an educated, practical and safe decision? We are normally the first to arrive at any type of incident. We know how to handle motor vehicle...

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Why wearing a harness is important for safety and search effectiveness

Why wearing a harness is important for safety and search effectiveness Sometimes we take for granted that the value of a harness is obvious. We stop taking it for granted when we meet teams that either never thought of the concept or who are resistant to it. In either case, education needs to take place. As low visibility searches almost always require tender-directed, tethered, solo diving for safety, accuracy, repeatable patterns,...

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Learning how to Use and Clear an AGA mask
Mar25

Learning how to Use and Clear an AGA mask

The Desired Learning Outcome (DLO) of clearing an AGA is as follows. Two years from at 0200 hrs, you are called to a submerged vehicle with two passengers. It is cold and rainy. The team is in rescue mode. You are the primary diver. The tender’s good calculations put you right on top of the vehicle. As you descend on it, the bottom of your AGA mask hits the top of the slightly opened driver’s door, and your AGA is pushed off your face...

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Dressing divers and tenders for Mass Casualty Operations

In parts I and II we discussed the initial steps for becoming prepared to manage a mass casualty water-related disaster such as a bridge collapse with multiple vehicle submersions. Drill training sessions were introduced with surface and subsurface personnel working around vehicles stacked up on land. This article discusses the minimum equipment needed by divers and tenders. One goal of this article is to help you make safe, effective...

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