The way public safety officers investigate a crime scene on the surface vs underwater seems like it might be different. Truth is, they’re exactly the same! The only thing that truly makes them different is the fact that one is underwater and one is on dry land.
Do you know what it takes to become a International Underwater Cave Rescue and Recovery (IUCRR) diver? It’s not a certification ERDI offers and requires very intensive training. We have Wendell Nope Sargent of the Utah Department of Public Safety Dive Team breaking down what it takes to become an IUCRR diver.
In this follow up article Tanya Chapman discusses what it takes to take a police unit from recreational divers to highly trained public safety divers. Also how we’ve progressed over the years in public safety diving with ERDI.
Some don’t realize the amount of training it takes to become an ERDI diver in the public safety field. These divers go through hours and hours of training only to risk their lives to bring others to safety. What happens when a whole police unit needs to get up to speed in the public safety diving arena? How do they plan for it? How do they make sure everyone is up to speed?
We all know Public Safety Divers see some pretty gnarly things when they’re on the scene… But do you really stop to think about what YOU might see or hear during your training or how it will affect you?
One subject we rarely discuss is how many factors must come together to safely put divers in the water. These factors often include support personnel, shore-based equipment, and on many occasions, working dogs. So what is a working dog and what makes one different from the standard puppy roaming around our homes?
Given the extensive nature of public safety diver training and the specialized equipment public safety diving teams generally have at their disposal, it’s easy to understand why ERDI-trained divers might feel that, “We are the only ones prepared to do body recoveries — any body recovery. And, if not us, then who?” Unfortunately, that’s a belief that can easily get you killed.
When you work to integrate support units or to provide new technologies, you only improve upon an already quality core structure.
Our responsibility is to know our job, equipment, and capabilities and let the others take care of theirs.