Guide to Medical Releases

What are minimum standards? Targets or suggestions? check out this article by Mark Powell to get the answer and increase your knowledge of what goes into a training standard.


Just because you aren’t DIR (Doing It Right) doesn’t mean you are DIW (Doing It Wrong) but maybe you could be DIB (Doing It Better).

Supporting Our Veterans

Veterans are the ones who take the time out of their lives to defend our freedoms but yet when they come home we disregard them. Why is this, and what can we do to change it? Veterans all over are struggling to adjust back to civilian life and we can make that adjustment easier by hiring them or pointing them in the right direction.

Public Safety Diving- It’s not just a hobby, it’s a career

ERDI has two perspectives from two different professional fields, to have a broader understanding about having a career in Public Safety Diving.

How to Start a Public Safety Diving Team

If you are forming, or plan to form a new dive team, I wish you luck. Even when taking on this task, ask for help and learn how others have been successful.

From training to operations: ERDI team show their skills

Vehicle simulator is key to Buck's training program
The 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 waterdogscuba@bellsouth.net. 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.

Support for ERDI Programs extends to NYPD


“We are very pleased to announce that New York State Police dive teams will now be following Emergency Response Diving International training protocols and standards,” Sean Harrison said today. Harrison, V-P Training and Membership Services for ERDI and the PSD organization’s sister certification agencies SDI and TDI, was speaking to the diving press from his office in Maine.
“During the past several months, we have seen a surge in interest in Public Safety Diving in general and ERDI in particular. Our PSD curriculum has received very strong endorsement from several police agencies and other public safety diving teams across North America. All eight NYSP dive teams have a record of producing results in the most trying, toughest conditions and I am personally very pleased and proud to welcome them to ERDI,” he stated.
The NYSP dive teams perform a variety of PSD tasks including victim or missing person searches, and evidence searches, typically in bodies of water near violent crime scenes often before significant leads are developed. These teams have an outstanding productivity/safety record and regularly recover weapons and/or evidence that essentially solved cases and help to put criminals behind bars.
Sergeant Alvaro Garcia, division diving officer for the New York State Police said that the extensive ERDI no-nonsense curriculum and a realistic training program that reflected the public safety diver’s need to be able to solve problems and failures without surfacing was part of the reasoning behind adopting ERDI programs.
“We are looking forward to working with ERDI and glad that this certifying agency recognizes and understands the vast difference between recreational diving and public safety diving,” Garcia explained.
Stressing the value of the right kind of education for public safety divers, Garcia explained that the conditions in which New York State Police Divers operate are way beyond the scope of the training offered by “regular” sport diving programs. “We have to operate in the worst imaginable environments and the safety of our officers is a prime concern. There is no room for error, because we have an abundance of deep water, dark water and swiftly-moving water In New York State. There is no room for a training program that fails to identify and help fix any weaknesses in our dive teams.”
ERDI is a proven PSD education and support program available to diving professionals and dive retailers as well as to existing PSD teams. It delivers the right programs for the New York State Police, could it be right for you?
Contact Cris Merz (cris.merz@tdisdi.com) or visit website (https://www.911responsediver.com/) for more details.
Join ERDI at the PSD workshop at Beneath the Sea, in Meadowlands, NJ on Friday, March 26 at the Holiday Inn across the street from the Show from 9:30 until 5 pm