ERDI Instructor Trainer “MAKES THE CLIMB”

Buck Buchanan from Georgia recently attended FDIC and worked the ERDI booth during the event March 24th through the 27th at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Also in attendance at the FDIC show on behalf of ERDI was Regional Manager Shawn Harrison and BOD Representative Nestor Palmero.

The activity at the ERDI booth continues to grow exponentially every year, but this year it was different. There was one topic that was on every ones lips if they were involved in purchasing and procurement…budgets!

It’s no secret that many municipalities and their staffs have been impacted by the home value roll backs and therefore the short fall of tax dollars. One thing that was an over the top hit for ERDI was the growing numbers of online courses that help fulfill the academic requirements without requiring additional OT requirements.

This year’s FDIC had a very unique element for ERDI, on Friday Morning Buck Buchanan entered the booth and stated, “I’ll be back in a bit, there is something I have to do”. As he walked away we wondered where is he going with that Scott Pack?

Upon his return here is what Buck had to say….

“I found out about the 110 story climb as a memorial to our 343 fallen firefighters/brothers that gave their lives on 911 and decided to honor their memory and the memory of a particular man. Each of us making the climb carried the picture of a fallen firefighter. I had the opportunity to meet some of his family members and thank them for their courage and that of their firefighter. I climbed those 110 stories’ in full turnout gear with a Scott Pack because that’s what they did that day in September 2001.

I was lucky to meet a thirteen year old girl who was attempting the climb for her father a firefighter and as is so often the case, you never know how what you do will effect others, this was a hard climb to the top tier of the Lucas Oil Stadium and as the motto said ‘we climb because they climbed‘ after the two hour climb this old PSD… who sometimes wonders if people really care, was approached by this sweet young angel and she asked if I would take a picture with her because she viewed me as an inspiration during the climb. She said “you never stopped, you never quit, you just kept going and I thought if you could do it with all that gear I could do it too” I told her I had girls at home about her age and showed her the picture of my wife and girls and reminded her on 911 our brothers did not stop … and then it hit me!

OUR brothers… those 343 brave souls climbed that day for the same reason I climbed 9 years later… our wives, kids, community and the brother next to you.

As it turned out that little girl, who was there one minute and gone in a flash will never know that she was the true inspiration on that day! Her kind words and bright spirit let me know people do care and my brothers, those 343 firefighters may have fallen but they will never be forgotten.”

From training to operations: ERDI team show their skills


Vehicle simulator is key to Buck's training programThe Hazlehurst/Jeff Davis (Georgia) Volunteer Fire Department Dive Team received a call from the local sheriff’s office on a cold icy Saturday in January 2011. A report of a vehicle in the Ocmulgee River had been given to the team by a caller on their emergency line. 
The dive team arrived at the scene to find local fisherman around, but no one knew anything about a missing vehicle. After a few minutes, the local deputies arrived with the rest of the story. The reported driver of the missing vehicle had been picked up the previous Thursday night and admitted to a mental hospital. The man said he drove his new truck into the river at a local boat ramp. The deputies searched the boat ramp but could not find any evidence of a vehicle. After two days in the hospital the man seemed to be thinking more clearly and insisted that his new truck was in the river. That’s when the dive team was called-in to put training into operation.
On a cold and wet day 12 months earlier, Buck Buchannan of Dive911 had conducted an ERDi light salvage workshop with the Hazlehurst/Jeff Davis VFD Dive Team and Milan VFD Dive Team at Waterdog Scuba in Hazlehurst, Georgia. This was one of the first workshops with Buck’s “vehicle simulator.”  
The two-day workshop not only taught the dive teams the how’s and why’s of vehicle recovery but also trained them how to recover a vehicle as safely as possible with minimal subsurface time to the diver. This ERDi light salvage course was designed by Buck Buchannan to provide public safety divers with new techniques and a unique skill set focused on the safe and fast removal of autos/light items from the water.   
During this course, Waterdog Scuba students gained experience using a full size automobile simulator that brought a real-world feel to the workshop. As Buck explained “You don’t just simulate it, you do it.” Topics covered in the workshop included rigging, remote lifting, and search techniques for new and older autos.
Now back to January 2011. Armed with the complete story from the sheriff’s deputy, the team, consisting of divers from the Hazlehurst/Jeff Davis VFD Dive Team and Milan VFD Dive Team, went to work. 
Six team members were present: team captain, two tenders and three divers. The deputy was used as a scribe. The primary diver hooked to the tender line to make a cursory sweep of the boat ramp. Then the primary diver went down and started his sweep. After locating the wreck, he gave three tugs to the tender. The diver asked for more slack by giving two tugs and began his cursory search of the vehicle. The diver then attached his contingency line to the vehicle to make his trolley system for the wrecker.  Once the line was in place the diver surfaced and exited the water. 
Buck Buchannan showing safety harness rigThe dive boss turned to the deputy and asked, “Where’s the wrecker?”  The deputy looked perplexed at the request being made so soon. The dive boss explained, “Your vehicle is at the other end of that line.”
Upon arrival of the wrecker, the primary diver reentered the water and attached the wrecker cable to the vehicle’s frame, then exited the water. Total dive time combining the initial location dive and the hook-up dive – 11 minutes!
Thanks goes out to Buck Buchannan of Dive911 for the training he provided to our local teams. 
 “Courage through knowledge-Skill through training.”
Waterdog Scuba along with Dive911 we be holding a “Light Salvage” workshop on Friday, March 11th (6:00pm-9:00pm) and Saturday, March 12th (8:00am-5:00pm). This workshop will be sponsored by the Hazlehurst/Jeff Davis VFD, Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office, and Jeff Davis County EMA. Anyone interested can register by contacting Waterdog Scuba at Registration cost: $90.
 Students gain experience using a full size automobile simulator that brings a real world feel to this workshop. You don’t just simulate it, you do it!! Topics covered will include rigging, remote lifting, techniques for new and old autos, and much more.
Emergency Response Diver International (ERDi) Instructors will provide an introduction to their varied and in- depth Public Safety Diver training programs. These training programs should be an integral part of any PSD or SAR training regimen.


ERDI Challenge Coin: inaugural recipients are recognized for contributions to Public Safety Diving

ERDI™ (Emergency Response Diving International) announced earlier today the list of people who are the first to be awarded the ERDI Challenge Coin. This coin is earned by individuals whose work to promote Public Safety Diving within their communities has helped to improve PSD awareness, develop universal safe practices and attract both private and public sector funding for badged PS divers and support staff world-wide.

“This group of individuals have had a positive impact on Public Safety diving and more specifically have earned the appreciation and recognition of their peers in this important and growing segment of the service dive industry,” commented Brian Carney, president of ERDI.

Describing the ERDI Challenge Coin as a “small sign of our most sincere appreciation and a way to say thank you for all the effort made in the promotion and teaching of ERDI Public Safety Diving courses over the years,” Carney went on to explain that the first recipient of the honor are now charged with a new responsibility.

“We are asking this group of very special individuals to continue their work and additionally to help us identify the next wave of PSD educators and other team members who deserve the special recognition that is associated with the Challenge Coin.”

Carney said that during the past few years, several events at home and abroad have highlighted the need for comprehensive and standardized training for public safety dive teams. “Natural disasters, massive oil spills, and the destruction of homes by floods have shown us how important this service can be in any sized community. And how important it is to continue to develop and support individuals with the right training, equipment and infrastructure to offer help in the toughest of conditions and harshest circumstances.

The list of recipients of the inaugural ERDI Challenge Coin includes:

First Name
Last Name
Paul Montgomery
Ed Christini
Shawn Harrison
Jeff Smith
Buddy Brown
Joey Brown
Britt Clark
Jonathan Huber
Michael Glenn
Dart Craytor
Phillip Graf
Jacques Brassard
Robert Outlaw
Ronnie Outlaw
Dale Autry
Matthew Gruca
Henry Woronka
Charles Herman
Joe Mokry
Wendell Nope
Ronald Kurth
Michael Bourne
Buck Buchanan
Ronald Dorneker
Bill Hardman
Spencer Slate
Sam Rich
Rodney Pedersen
Mike Pedersen
Dan Howard
J. Mathieu Burden
Bret Gilliam
Mitch Skaggs
Ed Young
Phil Venture
James Wilk
Jason Martin
Keith Cormican
Bill Nichols
Glen Faith
Ray Mazzola
Grady Weston
Justin Weston
Ron Westmoreland
Dan Vaccaro
Brian Vaccaro

If you are a member of a Public Safety Dive Team, are a member of ERDI or are interested in finding out more about the ERDI Challenge Coin or how to nominate an individual to receive one, please contact ERDI Headquarters.

About ERDI

As well as being the original PSD educational agency with its own insurance supporting its course standards and curriculum, all ERDI programs are OSHA and NFPA compliant.

ERDI courses available now include diver, Ops Component, and Leadership level programs and ERDI methods and training are in use by some of the largest, most successful and renowned PSD departments in the USA, Canada and around the world.

ERDI, helping Public Safety Professionals, into and out, of the water and Committed to Serve and Protect.